David McCullough wrote a contemporary biography of John Adams. Students will read, listen to and view supporting clips while learning the necessary elements to analyze the argument from a passage in the book. There are links to a reading passage on "The Boston Massacre" as well as a comparison between Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through Socratic Seminar, multiple-choice questions, and a rhetorical analysis written timed essay scored using an AP-style rubric.
A TED TALK, “How I Defend the Rule of Law” by Kimberley Motley is utilized, as is an opportunity to complete a SOAPSTone graphic organizer. The supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students is included. Other interviews from Big Think with the author help the students understand the assessment tasks. Links to clips to the John Adams series as well as the musical 1776 are also available in the resource. There is a rhetorical situation lesson included with support the viewing of a David McCullough interview before the Library of Congress.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.