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Practice with Argument -- When Athletes Take Political Stands

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2016 has been a difficult and tragic political summer in the United States. The social justice organization, Black Live Matters, continues to protest police actions against African Americans. An ex-military sniper targeted police, killing five officers on duty in Dallas,Texas during a Black Lives Matter protest. Athletes are taking stances that hearken back to the political activism of Roberto Clemente, Billie Jean King, and Muhammad Ali.

Students will be studying a persuasive essay from the July 2016 edition of The Atlantic Monthly on athletes taking political stances. A link to the article is provided. Students will work with the video and transcript of NBA players, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James, speaking out on injustice at the July 2016 ESPY sports awards. Students will review important rhetorical devices and appeals, close read and annotate the text, view supporting video clips, listen to an NPR story on the Black Lives Matter Movement, view footage of the Miami Heat supporting Trayvon Martin's family, view a recent discussion at the University of Texas at Austin on athletes and activism, and compare these actions to those of former NBA players, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, who took stances on not being politically active as athletes.

Students will use these sources to write the prompt for the 2004 College Board AP English Language and Composition essay exam Question #2 on controversial contemporary issues. Links to samples, rubrics, and expert commentary are provided.

There is also an opportunity to write a Rhetorical Précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students.

These four lessons prepare students for AP English Language and Literature exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American and World 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 fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. Students will be asked to synthesize an argument using articles from The New York Times Room for Debate series. The debate topic is on making Black voices matter. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, and essential and key questions.

Tags: Debate, nonfiction, Socratic Seminar, persuasive writing, argument, critical thinking,rhetorical appeals
Total Pages
16
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
4 days
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