Rhetorical Analysis: Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (AP Lang/English)

Lit Monster
Grade Levels
10th - 12th
Resource Type
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Lit Monster


Have students analyze a classic letter from Francis Pharcellus Church to young Virginia O'Hanlon on the credibility of Santa's existence!

Published in New York City's The Sun, this 1897 letter/editorial by Francis Church argues on one level for Santa's existence, while on a larger level, for the promotion and encouragement of childhood exploration and imagination. In this resource, I've provided sample annotations and analysis of this 1897 letter, a "dissecting the prompt" activity, a sample prompt written in the AP Lang rhetorical analysis framework, and an analytical verbs list.

This resource can act as a great review of rhetorical analysis before winter break!

Interested in other resources for the AP Lang classroom? See the units below:

1) AP Lang Essays Bundle (Argument, Synthesis, Rhetorical Analysis)

2) The Crucible for AP Lang

3) Huck Finn for AP Lang

4) The Things They Carried for AP Lang

5) The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass for AP Lang

6) AP Lang Argument Activities

7) AP Lang Synthesis Essay Activities and Resources

8) Embedding Quotes for AP Lang

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