“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom he destroys. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” George Orwell makes the following assertion in his classic essay, “Shooting an Elephant.” Students will not only study Orwell’s essay but also compare his experience to that of Israeli soldiers policing the Gaza strip and American police officers patrolling African American neighborhoods.
Students will view supporting video clips on Orwell and his experience in Burma and a TED TALK delivered by Baltimore Police officer Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell. A link to New York Times videos on Israel and Gaza, as well as an article and a pair of photographs of Israeli soldiers suffering from PTSD as a result of their tour in Gaza are used in the resource. Additionally, a link to police officers in America speaking on race as well as a series of videos on the shooting of Keith L. Scott by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina is provided.
Students will answer 10 AP style multiple choice questions on “Shooting an Elephant” with an answer key included. There is also an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence, as well as a link to an argument prompt. A link to a video, frames, and lesson on agreeing, disagreeing, or qualifying an argument is provided.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, British Literature, World Literature or AP English Language or Literature class and prepare students for the AP English Language exam, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
In this resource, there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide, there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fishbowl discussion with the rubric. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Socratic Seminar, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking