MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Close Reading Unit

MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
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22.61 MB   |   39 pages


Use Martin Luther King Jr.’s impassioned “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (a CCSS exemplar text) to practice close reading and other key Common Core skills, including analyzing a seminal U.S. text and evaluating rhetorical strategies.

NOTE: You can save by purchasing this product as part of the following two bundles:

"Letter from Birmingham Jail" Value Bundle: Includes this product along with a introductory PowerPoint and fun informal debate activity

Rhetoric Mega-Bundle: Introduction to Rhetorical Appeals & Devices, and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Unit: Includes the above product along with a rhetorical appeals unit and rhetorical devices unit


This close reading unit includes:

Detailed 3-7 day Lesson Plan—with step-by step instructions, including thought-provoking pre-reading journal prompts, “think-aloud” modeling for close reading, and options for struggling readers and English Language Learners
Full text of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” —can be copied and distributed so that students may annotate the text as they read
Comprehension Questions (also sold separately) —to ensure student understanding as they read
Glossary of Rhetorical Strategies—includes definitions and examples of rhetorical appeals and devices for student reference and review
Vocabulary Inventory—to introduce new words, determine which ones students need most help with pre-reading, and monitor growth after instruction
Vocabulary Building—to help students learn new vocabulary by connecting to words in a meaningful way
SOAPSTone Analysis Chart—SOAPSTone (an acronym for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject and Tone) is an analysis approach often used in AP and pre-AP classes to help students clarify and organize their ideas to prepare for any in-class discussions or writing tasks.
Rhetorical Analysis Handout—after closely reading and annotating the text, students cite the best examples of a variety of rhetorical appeals and devices. Great as an individual or group activity.
Reader Response—students summarize and reflect upon their learning by writing about their discoveries and how they fit into the larger picture of the piece
Essay Prompts/Discussion Questions—to further extend their learning, students are presented with a list of questions that can be used for class discussion or as essay prompts
Essay Organizer—a graphic organizer that can be used for essay planning
Essay Rubric—to set clear expectations for student writing and make grading a breeze
Detailed Answer Keys—to generally make your life easier

This resource can be used in whole or part to help students connect to King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while practicing the skills to master several Common Core State Standards.

Common Core Standards Covered
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 (Citing textual evidence)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 (Determining central idea of informational text)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4 (Determining meaning of words, including connotation and how it impacts tone)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6 (Determining author’s purpose and how rhetoric advances it)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.8 (Evaluating argument and reasoning within a text)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.9 (Analyzing a seminal U.S. document)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.2 (Writing informational/explanatory texts)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.4 (Producing clear, coherent writing appropriate to task)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 (Participating in collaborative discussion)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.3 (Evaluating speaker’s point of view and use of rhetoric)

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“Letter from Birmingham Jail” Introductory PowerPoint

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Keywords: Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK, rhetoric, rhetorical analysis, Black History Month, seminal U.S. document, non-fiction text, informational text, nonfiction, ethos, pathos, logos, rhetorical appeals, rhetorical devices, close reading
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MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Rhetorical Analysis Cl
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