In a resource where students practice rhetorical analysis, students learn about Walter Isaacson attempt to re-brand Benjamin Franklin in a contemporary biography. Students will read, listen to and view supporting clips while learning the necessary elements to analyze two passage from the biography. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a rhetorical précis, multiple choice, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
Two excerpts from Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson are the central texts in these lessons. A documentary from PBS “on Benjamin Franklin is utilized, as is an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. A link to a 14-question AP multiple-choice assessment using the biography, also used on the 2007 release AP English Language exam, is available. An NPR Fresh Air interview with the author, as well as a short video clips from the HBO series on John Adams involving Ben Franklin are part of these lessons.
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.
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, founding fathers, ethos, American Literature, American Government, argument