Susan Sontag’s excerpt from Regarding the Pain of Others, has been widely anthologized. It is a classic essay that examines the power of photographs to move people to action or to change a society’s destructive behaviors. There is a link in this resource to the excerpt and an audio reading of the excerpt.
There are many links to video and audio resources for analyzing the argument shocking photography including a TED Talk on photography that changes the world. The resource features an original prompt based on responding to a Susan Sontag quote about photography. Students will craft an argumentative thesis sentence for an argument that agrees, refutes, or qualifies points from Sontag’s quote.
Also, there is a graphic organizer designed as a rhetorical triangle where students will look for appeals from a Susan Sontag interview with Bill Moyers. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These 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. Now adaptable for ESOL classes.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions. I have added an addendum that describes how to adapt the lessons for ELL students.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, photography, tragedies, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom