A recent New York Times article featured a Chinese doctor who wrote a poem using the perspective of the smog that is killing people in China. This resource features that article and other pieces with perspectives, usually with the vantage point of an outsider looking in on a community.
There are many links to video, audio, and print resources for studying the concept of the stranger in the village. Also included is a TED Talk on “Why You Think You're Right -- Even if You're Wrong,” by Julia Galef. The students will also view selected clips from the film “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a This American Life excerpt about an American wife who lives in Ciudad Juarez, and an NPR story on Kansas City musician Krystle Warren who chooses to live in France. There are links to a pair of NPR stories featuring a Palestinian perspective and an Israeli perspective on recent violence between the two communities.
The lesson features a prompt analyzing the argument in New York Times article that features the poet Chinese doctor using the perspective of the smog. Students will craft a thesis sentence. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical precis and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, American Literature or 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. I have added an addendum that describes how to adapt the lessons for ELL students.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions. Now adaptable for ESOL classes.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, smog, the outsider, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom