This lesson encourages students to write with greater profundity when qualifying an argument. Students learn about Miles Davis and the album, Kind of Blue, and its musical influence. Students will read, listen to and view supporting clips while learning the necessary elements to analyze the argument about entertainment having the capacity to ruin society. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, a Socratic seminar, short paragraph assessment, and a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
The central text is the excerpt from the introduction to Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece written by Ashley Kahn. The longer video and TED TALK used are “Kind Of Blue" - Miles Davis - Documentary & “Let the music tell you what to do!” by John D'earth. Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes from Kind of Blue. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity writing about meeting your hero. Students will listening to a This American Life episode on poet Quincy Troupe meeting his hero Miles Davis and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation in The New York Times film review of Miles Ahead. The students will complete a PAPA Square for Rhetorical Analysis for The New York Times essay, “The Ensembles of Miles Davis Epitomized Cool” by Michael J. Agovino. The entire lessons act as an explication and a building of context for the argument essay for the 2003 AP English Language prompt on entertainment’s role to “ruin” society.
These six 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.