Two classic essays were written last generation that still ring true for today’s young generation: Marie Winn’s “Television: The Plug-In Drug,” and David Foster Wallace’s first section of “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction.”
There are many links to video and audio resources for analyzing the argument about television including a TED Talk on television and the effects on the brain development of children. The resource features an original prompt based on responding to a David Foster Wallace quote about television and its audience. There is also a link to an argument implementing Marie Winn’s essay.
Also, there is a graphic organizer designed as a rhetorical triangle where students will look for appeals from David Foster Wallace’s essay and there is an opportunity to work with 7 AP style multiple choice question and Marie Winn’s essay. Students will craft an argumentative thesis sentence for an argument that agrees, refutes, or qualifies points from either classic essay.
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, mass media, family and education, television, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom