This week we are building on the work we did with perspectives and starting to examine how perspectives influence arguments. Monday and Tuesday we worked with an op-ed in the New York Times by Sam Polk called “For the Love of Money.” Students considered his perspective and how that might influence his argument. Next they examined how he built his argument, and finally assessed the validity of his evidence. We had some great discussions, and I think all the students are doing a nice job of challenging their own and each other's’ assumptions.
On Wednesday we are adding another, slightly more challenging text to the mix-- “The Gospel of Wealth” by Andrew Carnegie. I was excited to hear the students immediately commenting about their opinions about Carnegie as I passed out the text yesterday! They’ve been paying attention in their history classes, and that will benefit them immensely this year! For those unfamiliar with Carnegie, I encouraged them to do a little googling before reading. The more they can develop a natural curiosity about the readings we’re doing, the better off they’ll be.
Thursday and Friday we will continue our work with identifying writers’ arguments. We will shift our focus to reading and studying research and consider how arguments in academic writing are different than the genres we’ve already studied (op-ed, argumentative essay, visual texts).
All of this work with arguments is leading to students writing their own! Next week we will begin the students’ first writing piece. They will develop their own question related to the theme of money and wealth. You may want to ask them which questions they are starting to consider. The best questions develop after lots of conversation.
Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope to see you at Curriculum Night tonight!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire