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Practice with Rhetorical Analysis— from David McCullough’s John Adams

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David McCullough wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning biography on John Adams that was made into an excellent miniseries on HBO. In a passage from the book and in a clip from the miniseries, John and Abigail are disgusted by the idea that the White House is being built by slaves. What actions should they take?

Students will view supporting video clips on the passage, included in the material are links to several NPR stories on the issue. Students will also study a modern day example with the chocolate industry and the use of child slaves to harvest the crop. What actions should the students take as they purchase chocolate? Also included is a TED Talk on combating modern slavery.

The lesson features an original prompt analyzing the passage. Students will craft a persuasive thesis sentence. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.

If you are teaching The Revolutionary Period, American Literature, or justice with a contemporary lens, then this resource will complement your unit.

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.

The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.

Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, slavery, theme

Total Pages
17
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
4 Days

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Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  from David McCullough’
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  from David McCullough’
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  from David McCullough’
Practice with Rhetorical Analysis—  from David McCullough’