Challenge your struggling readers and English Language Learners to successfully tackle difficult text! This 27-page document includes Constructing Meaning-style text of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and is chunked with brackets. In the left margin, students are asked to work with vocabulary and rhetorical analysis concepts introduced in the text using guided annotation boxes. Close reading strategies align with Common Core. A full key is included.
This Scaffolded Annotation text has been a highly successful part of my AP Language and Composition, general education, and English Language Acquisition classes. It is appropriate for a wide range of students, depending on how you choose to use it. While for some students, it may function as a no-prep reading guide, other students may need lessons to contextualize the text and teach into the close reading skills represented.
• Students focus on text-dependent questions, requiring them to develop a thorough understanding of the text.
• Students are exposed to vocabulary in context and use a variety of strategies to determine word meanings.
• Students use the PASTA strategy after reading to develop a rhetorical overview of the text by summarizing purpose, audience, subject, tone, and author’s bias.
– Note: Students may easily create an analytical thesis statement by combining one observation from each of the PASTA categories into a single sentence. This is a more sophisticated thesis structure that helps students break out of formulaic or closed thesis statements.
• Struggling students have ample support to help them analyze key concepts in the text.
• English Language Learners are supported by Constructing Meaning strategies around vocabulary acquisition and content analysis.
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