Practice with Argument: Thomas Paine’s America

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Bill Moyers writes on his Bill Moyers' Journal website, “His name was Thomas Paine. More than two centuries ago, Paine's most famous book, COMMON SENSE, sold 500,000 copies. Farmers in the fields stopped to read it. Other influential works followed including THE AMERICAN CRISIS which proclaimed, "These are times that try men's souls." George Washington took those words to heart when he ordered his troops to read Paine's passionate call for liberty as they went into battle. Paine's extraordinary life was both glorious and tragic. He was not revered as some of our other founding fathers — and during his lifetime he was often feared and lampooned — and under threat of prison and even death.

Using Paine’s work, students will review important rhetorical strategies, close read and annotate text, view supporting video clips, evaluate a writing prompt, formulate the thesis for an argument essay from the 2011 AP English Language exam and view scored student sample essays with commentary. A link to an appropriate rubric is included to assist with scoring the essays generated from the activity. NPR stories profile Paine and Edmund Burke, and students will analyze the differing ideas of the two founding fathers. The students will view discussion on Paine from C-SPAN, where guided notes are provided. Also included in the resources is a link to “The Crisis” in passage form with 14 AP style multiple choice questions, answer keys and rationales for the answer. This lesson prepares students for AP Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, the SAT 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 fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. The Socratic seminar acts as a poetry explication. The packet includes a complete lesson, common core standards, essential and key questions. An opening, work session, and closing is provided for each of the three lessons.

Tags: American Revolution, Advanced Composition, Socratic Seminar, writing, AP Language, critical thinking, argument, Thomas Paine, Bill Moyers, Chris Hedges, Cornell West, annotations, rhetorical appeals, injustice

Total Pages
18
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Included
Teaching Duration
3 Days

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Practice with Argument: Thomas Paine’s America
Practice with Argument: Thomas Paine’s America
Practice with Argument: Thomas Paine’s America
Practice with Argument: Thomas Paine’s America