How Imagery & Structure can Impact Audience Comprehension: Testify!

How Imagery & Structure can Impact Audience Comprehension: Testify!
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A lesson about how imagery and structure can impact audience comprehension

Anger is an interesting emotion. And a powerful one. Usually, it is a symptom of fear. However, during times of anger and fear we often find ourselves the least capable of critical thinking. Here is where this lesson comes in…help your students become more cognizant of how language, structure, and form either help or hinder an expression of anger or fear. This has been a powerful lesson for so many teachers seeking to help their students better express the complex emotions of growing up.

In this lesson, students will start off by identifying something that makes them angry. From there, they will read along with the lyrics to TESTIFY, by Rage Against the Machine, as the song plays. During this time, students will underline every word, phrase, or line that paints a picture in their mind. Afterwards, students will go back and circle action verbs in the lyrics. Using a graphic organizer, students will rank the top 10 image-laden lines by their degree of boldness and then infer what the topic of the song is… or in other words, what is Rage Against the Machine so angry about? Additional questions guide students through an analysis of how the music and lyrics interact. Students are also provided a brief timeline of the Gulf War (1990-1991) to help inform their analysis of the song. Once the song/lyrics analysis is complete, students are provided the opportunity to create their own writing on a topic that makes them angry, focusing on imagery, action verbs, and structure.

This lesson can be used as a stand-alone or be combined with writing units, media literacy units, or in collaboration with a social studies unit on war.

This detailed lesson includes:
- ‘How to Use’ guidance sheet
- Teacher notes, including:
* A warm-up idea
* Setting the Stage scripted intro option,
* Accommodation Ideas for different ability learners and ESL students
- Investigation Guide
- Basic Timeline of Gulf War
- Extension Writing Assignment

Skills developed in this lesson:
- Developing critical thinking skills to evaluate text and music,
- Using literary terminology to analyze text,
- Analyzing writer intent
- Analyzing how structure, form, and language can impact audience understanding
- Making judgments based on textual evidence
- Inferring meaning using context clues


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Off The Beaten Path Curriculum & Instruction

Questions or comments? Email me at Beth@teachoffthebeatenpath.com
Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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$2.98
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