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Practice with Persuasion—Surroundings of Josefina Lopez's Real Women Have Curves

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Josefina Lopez’s play, and its filmed version "Real Women Have Curves," is studied in this resource. The film focuses on the character of Ana Guzman, an undocumented student, who is talented enough to get into an Ivy League college. Nearing the end of her senior year, Ana lives in East Los Angeles but takes three buses to get to Beverly Hills High School. The summer after graduation, Ana works in her sister’s factory making dresses for low wages while immigration authorities arrest undocumented immigrants in raids. Despite financial hardships and family drama, Ana embraces her curves and takes steps toward her future.

The lessons work on collecting details for an essay assessment that focuses on a persuasive analysis related to cultural, geographical, and physical surroundings of a play or novel, explored in The 2012 AP English Literature and Composition examination prompt.

These lessons fit for any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, or AP English Language or Literature class. There are two original student-written essays on the play in the resource packet that are scored with a rubric. Commentary is provided from an experienced AP English College Board scorer.

Students will also close read and annotate a Los Angeles Times review of the recent revival of the play. Students will view supporting video clips, and listen to NPR stories on the issues. Playwright Josefina Lopez speaks of the importance of narrative in a Ted Talk. The graduation speech of Larissa Martinez, valedictorian at McKinney Boyd High School, is studied. Martinez reveals her immigration status during the speech on her journey to attend Yale University. The resource has an explanation on how portions of the lessons can be used in the flipped classroom.

A link to the film is included. You must purchase the play script online.

There is also an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this to your students. These four lessons prepare students for AP 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 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, immigration, college, garment industry, first generation college students
Total Pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
4 days
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