Beginning this week...
Grade 11, Unit 3: American Forums: The Marketplace of Ideas.
In this unit, students explore the free exchange of ideas in a democracy. Two essential questions focus their attention on the skills and knowledge presented and assessed in the unit:
· How do news outlets impact public opinion or public perception?
· How does a writer use tone to advance an opinion?
Two performance-based tasks, called Embedded Assessments, give students an opportunity to demonstrate their new learning in the skills of exposition and argumentation. Specifically,
· Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to write an article informing an audience about a selected topic and an editorial product taking a position on the same topic.
· Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to develop a satirical piece critiquing some aspect of our society.
In both cases, students demonstrate their ability to conduct research, analyze fallacious reasoning, and provide evidence from research.
Developing Skills and Knowledge for the Assessments
Throughout the unit, students engage in activities in which they use strategies such as discussion groups and SMELL to practice the important skills of engaging in an interactive discussion and analyzing an editorial. Students analyze and respond to a variety of texts such as the satire “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain and the informational text “The Role of the Media in a Democracy” by George A. Krimsky. Students will also be responsible for independently reading news articles and tracking their reading in a log that will be provided for them.
Students’ vocabulary study concentrates on academic vocabulary of exposition and argumentation, such as bias, fallacies, and parody, and vocabulary specific to literary study such as slanters, Horatian satire, and Juvenalian satire.