Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
There are many links to video and audio resources for analyzing the argument about within Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The resource features a link to the 2004B AP English Language exam which featured a rhetorical analysis from an excerpt from Silent Spring. There is also an Atlantic Monthly article on Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring turning 50 years old.
Also, there is a graphic organizer designed as a rhetorical triangle where students will look for appeals from a short documentary on Malaria and Rachel Carson. 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, AP English Language, speech and debate, pesticides environment, agriculture, organic farming, social justice, argument, Socratic Seminar, synthesis, Rachel Carson, American Literature, Environmental Science, Ted Talks, NPR, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom
New Additions April 2017: link to Atlantic Monthly article on Silent Spring turning 50 years old. Reformatting and inclusion of 4th lesson. There is also a 30 question/answer key viewing guide to American Experience: Rachel Carson.