One of the things I love the most about teaching nonfiction texts is teaching rhetorical analysis and watching students get it. After teaching my students about ethos, pathos, logos, and a variety of rhetorical devices in two different speeches, I wanted to see if they got it on their own, so I assigned a collaborative rhetorical analysis project. To set up the project, I printed copies of historical and political speeches that we had not reviewed yet: The Space Shuttle Challenger Address, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream, President George W. Bush’s 9/11 Address to the Nation, and JFK’s Ich bin in Berliner. With the exception of I Have a Dream, all of the speeches are about the same length. I printed out enough copies for each group to have one speech each, and then I collated the speeches so that I could hand them out at random. The students did not have a say in which speech they were given. I gave each student group a piece of chart paper, markers, and a copy o...
Close reading is an integral and essential component of the common core standards. Close reading asks students to not only read a text for basic comprehension and understanding, but to really read the text, dig deeply into the text, and make connections with the text. This can be a difficult and daunting task for a generation that grew up bubbling a scantron and moving on to the next task. 1. Don't rush them. When my students closely read a text, I make sure to not rush them. We as educators have to keep in mind that this is their first exposure to the text. We can't take for granted that they will understand every word, metaphor, and rhetorical device in the text. Close reading is a process that takes time, patience, and multiple readings. There is no such thing as reading a sentence, a paragraph, or a composition too many times. To begin the close reading process, I like to teach my students how to annotate text. My Annotation Bookmarks will help keep students...