Peter Singer, professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, wrote a famous essay for The New York Times Magazine, “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” Singer advocates giving away all monies used for luxuries to starving people in the developing world. It is purposely an extreme argument.
Students will read and annotate the essay and analyze the rhetorical strategies used to convey the Singer’s message. These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, or AP English Language or Literature class.
Students will view supporting video clips, such as a TED TALK delivered by Peter Singer. The students will read, listen and view interpretations of “Central Station,” a Brazilian film alluded to in Singer’s essay. There are multiple choice assessments and answer keys for Singer’s essay and for a counterargument essay, “Live Free and Starve” by Chitra Divakaruna.
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 the 2005 AP English language argument prompt which featured Peter Singer’s essay. There are several links to teacher-made videos on writing the argument analysis question.
These four lessons prepare students for AP English Language and Literature exams, 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, argument, Pre-AP, critical thinking, poverty, American Literature, World Literature, rhetoric