This lesson encourages students to write with greater profundity when analyzing an author’s choices regarding argument, appeals and other rhetorical choices. Roy Scranton, Iraq War Veteran wrote a recent op-ed for the New York Times titled, “Star Wars and the Fantasy of American Violence.” Students will read and view supporting clips on the theme and the necessary elements to analyze the argument. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, short paragraph assessments, Socratic discussion, and a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
The central text is The New York Times essay, “Star Wars and the Fantasy of American Violence” by Roy Scranton. The students will complete an evaluation on a purpose graphic organizer on this essay. The TED TALKS used are, “What I Saw in the War” by Janine di Giovanni” & ““My Journey from Marine to Actor” by Adam Driver & The real roots of youth violence” by Craig Pinkney. Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of Star Wars and violence. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity writing to Roy Scranton or Jacob Siegel, in the voice of a high school student circa October 2001. Students will listening to a NPR Fresh Air interview with veterans Roy Scranton or Jacob Siegel and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on This American Life: The Real Story- Jarhead. Anthony Swofford reads it. The students will complete a PAPA Square for Rhetorical Analysis for The Conversation website, “Star Wars is a fantasy film firmly based on America’s real conflicts,” by Stephen McVeigh. The entire lessons act as an explication and a building of context for Question #3 of the 2011 AP English Language exam which is an argument based on a quote by Thomas Paine and an argument to see if today’s America is similar to Paine’s statement.
These seven daily 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 the lessons act as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.