Practice with Rhetorical Analysis— The Trouble With Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln

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Steven Spielberg tried to make the quintessential film about Abraham Lincoln. While Daniel Day Lewis did a magnificent job portraying the 16th President, there were critics who raised questions about the historical inaccuracies within the film.

Students will view supporting video clips on the argument and read essays from The Nation Magazine and The New York Times that challenge Steven Spielberg’s film. The lesson contains links to a short documentary on Lincoln, the film. There are interviews and with historian Eric Foner and Kate Mazur.

There is an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. An original prompt on analyzing the rhetoric in Kate Mazur’s op-ed critiquing Spielberg’s depiction of African-Americans is featured. Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence. If you are studying the Civil War, Lincoln, or the 19th Century—then you can fit these lessons into your curriculum plan.

These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, World Literature or 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.

There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as it acts as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.

Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, American History, film studies

Total Pages
18
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
4 Days

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Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  The Trouble With Steve
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  The Trouble With Steve
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  The Trouble With Steve
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  The Trouble With Steve