Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis

Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
Michelle Alexander’s We Are Not the Resistance: Practice w/ Rhetorical Analysis
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Common Core Standards
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Students learn about the current movement of American citizens fighting to preserve our democracy.

This lesson encourages students to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Students will read, listen to and view supporting video and audio clips while learning the necessary elements to establish their argument on the theme of freedom and democracy. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, short paragraph assessments, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP English-style rubric.

The central text is The New York Times opinion-essay “We Are Not the Resistance,” by Michelle Alexander. The students will complete an evaluation on a purpose graphic organizer on this essay. The TED TALKS and longer videos used are, “TED TALK: The Standing Rock Resistance and our Fight for Indigenous Rights| Tara Houska” & “This Is How A Progressive Wins - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (includes Campaign Ad). Also used in this resource is “Spirit of Justice: Michelle Alexander and Naomi Klein.” Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of the unit. There is a short paragraph opportunity writing a paragraph letter to Vincent Harding on what the American democracy will look like in 15 to 20 years. Students will reading/listening to an On Being interview with Vincent Harding and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on The New York Times essay, “The New Socialists,” by Corey Robin. The students will complete a PAPA Square for Rhetorical Analysis for The Nation essay, “The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Effect,” by John Nichols.

There for an Audience Analysis on The New York Times review, “Why Are Whites So Angry?” by Jesse McCarthy. The entire lessons act as an explication and a building of context for an original rhetorical analysis based on The New York Times opinion-essay “We Are Not the Resistance,” by Michelle Alexander.

These seven daily 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.


There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.


Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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