Synthesizing Sources on the Environment: The Pessimism and Optimism of Enviromentalism

paul-hawken-434909As we continue our discussion of the Environment in preparation for the Q1 Synthesis essay, I’ve asked you to read a series of essays that focus on three types of environmental perspectives: In Lewis Thomas’ essay ‘Natural Man’, we see Thomas defining what it means to be a ‘natural man’ in the 21st century; in E.O. Wilson’s ‘The Future of Life’, we see an optimistic perspective on humanity’s relationship with the environment and the steps needed to maintain that healthy relationship, while in Bill McKibben’s ‘The End of Nature’, we see a very pessimistic viewpoint on the relationship between mankind and the environment and the future of that relationship.

 

Remember, in preparation for Socratic Seminar you need to focus on this following questions in regard to these articles, and the more specific questions targeted towards these articles in green below:

 

  • Do we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment?
    • How is this topic actually a larger discussion of ethics?
    • Is it too late to protect the environment from the changes we’ve already wrought?
  • Do we have a responsibility to ensure equitable access to food and water for our fellow-man?
    • How can we address this issue in a realistic way that takes into account our excesses in production and the finite resources we have access to?
  • How do we work towards greater environmental awareness and stewardship?
    • How can the average citizen effectively discuss issues impacting the human/environment relationship in a way that can target both pro and anti environmentalist?

As you prepare to discuss any questions you may have had about the articles themselves (either literal, evaluative or qualifying questions), you will also need to bring at least one additional reliable resource you’ve found on the topic. Remember, find something in these articles that appeals to you personally  – either because you agree or disagree strongly with the statements made by the author, or because you genuinely found a part of the articles and the information therein interesting. The additional resource you bring to Socratic seminar should be used to DEFEND yours or a classmates’ assertions about the article, to CHALLENGE  a classmates’ assertions about the article or the QUALIFY a statement made by a classmate.

This article asks you to revise your ideas about environmentalism and the ethics of environmentalism, as well as to consider a new global perspective on mankind’s relationship, dependence and responsibility to the environment. I look forward to your discussion Wednesday!

Click here to access the readings if you lost your copy. 🙂

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Women’s Rights – Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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One of the major issues that we are examining during the Realist period is the fight for women’s rights. In class we will be examining the work of two women – Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth.

Each of these women worked to further the cause of suffrage and the abolitionist movement.

One of the main figureheads of the suffrage movement in America, Stanton wrote the ‘Declaration of Sentiments’, which were presented in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. Stanton not only fought for women’s right to vote, but also for women’s property rights, employment rights, custody  rights, and right to birth control.

 

Click here to read her ‘Declaration of Sentiments’

sojourner_truth_lc1In addition to Stanton, Sojourner Truth also worked to support the cause of suffrage and abolition. Born into slavery, Truth would have 13 children (11 of them sold into slavery themselves, never to be seen again) before escaping to freedom. She then took on the role of public speaker, and used her own experience to encourage others not only to support the abolition of slavery but also the equality of women. Though she was illiterate herself, her speaking was clear and powerful. Many different versions of her famous ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’ speech exist today, but all of them share the similarity of tone and passion.

Click here to read her speech ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’

Also, please watch the amazing performance of Truth’s speech, performed at Kansas State University’s 8th Diversity Summit on April 1, 2011 by Ms. Pat Theriault.

BONUS: Did you know that the original document ‘The Declaration of Sentiments’ has been lost? Click here to listen to an AMAZING podcast episode from the ladies over at ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class’ to learn more!

Be sure to watch the second half of the ‘Women in the 19th Century’ Crash Course video below!

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Realism – A Reaction to American Romanticism

This week we are beginning our unit on Realism, the literary response to Romanticism. The style of Realism includes representing REAL life lived by REAL people (not the idealized life that Emerson and Thoreau presented), and a simple, direct language that everyone could understand.

Issues that we’ll examine throughout this unit include the struggles and trials of the Civil War, the last stand of the Native Americans in the Indian Wars, the suffrage of women and the emancipation of slaves, the influx of a new immigrant population, and the growing divide between the rich and the poor.

As we move through the unit please keep track of how these issues and themes play out across the texts and how they interact with each other in the individual texts.

 

If you would like to review the video notes from class today, please view it below:

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Synthesizing Sources On The Environment: Hungry Plant

As we work through mastering the Q1 synthesis essay this unit, we are going to hold Socratic seminar over a series of sources that focus on the environment. Ultimately you will all conduct a class debate at the end of the unit using (synthesizing) all of these sources.

Our focus questions for this unit are:

  • Do we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment ensure equitable access to natural resources for our fellow-man?

Our first source comes from the book ‘Hungry Planet’ by Peter Menzel. This piece of photojournalism focuses on portraits of families from around the world, and one week’s worth of groceries. This series highlights the differences not only in food culture by geography, culture and economic status, but also how ‘wealth’ is communicated through food and how what is perceived as ‘wealthy’ differs from place to place.

You may view these pictures via The Times by clicking here, or you can view the images below. You will need to be able to answer the following questions during seminar, as well as posing questions of your own:

  1. Which portraits are most similar to each other in terms of food representation? Does this surprise you?
  2. Which portraits are most similar in setting?
  3. Consider the number of people, or ‘mouths’, to be fed in each photograph. Compute the cost of feeding that many individuals based on the information provided. What does this tell you about the global economy?
  4. From your analysis of the photos, what inferences can you make about the countries depicted? Overall what does the photo-story tell us about global sustainability?
  5.  Look at the food-items depicted in the photographs – Does access to food always mean access to natural resources (fresh water, fresh vegetables and meats)?

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AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Preparing for the AP Exam – Q1, Synthesis Essay

This week we will be moving on from the Rhetorical Analysis Q2 essay and will begin working on the skills needed for the Q1 Synthesis essay. First, let me be clear: the skills of argumentation that you will be practicing the next four weeks will be used on the Q1 Synthesis and the Q3 Argumentative essay – they are both technically argumentative essays, with the key difference being that the Q1 Synthesis provides you with eight sources to use, while the Q3 Argumentative does not.

So what exactly is the Q1 Synthesis essay, and how is it different from the Q2 Rhetorical Analysis?

  • The Q1 DOES NOT require you to analyze an author’s use of rhetoric.
  • The Q1 DOES require you take a position on a given topic and defend, challenge or qualify that position.
  • The Q1 DOES provide you with eight sources to read and review for potential use in your essay.
  • The Q1 DOES NOT require you to use all eight sources, only three.

The Q1 essay was introduced in 2008, so there are not quiet as many examples for you to review on AP Central (there’s still ten years of samples though…). Your main concerns for the synthesis essay will include:

  1. Taking a CLEAR POSITION on the topic given.
  2. Writing a CLEAR THESIS for your essay.
  3. Reviewing the eight sources, and determining with three you want to use in your own essay.
  4. Formatting your paper as an argument, with a counterclaim.
  5. CITING YOUR SOURCES – including in your counterclaim.
  6. Making sure that your sources support your argument – not that you are simply rewriting the sources as your body paragraphs.

For more on the synthesis essay, see the video below. 🙂

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Civil Disobedience – What is the relationship between The Citizen and The State?

As we continue to examine the question of “what is the relationship between the citizen and the state” this week we will do so informed by your reading of Henry David Thoreau’s famous text ‘Civil Disobedience’.

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After analysis of the text and discussion of the topic in Socratic seminar, you will have a choice again this week of three potential projects to complete analyzing and addressing the topic of civil disobedience. As you work on this project remember that you must cite at least three reliable sources, with one of them being Thoreau’s essays.

 

 

 

Project Option 1:  Definition/Exemplification – Visual Infographic

Examine an act of Civil Disobedience, focusing on the individual or group responsible. Create an infographic that:

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  • Describe the background of the law or governmental policy in question. What was the individual and his or her allies protesting?
  • In what specific acts of civil disobedience did they engage? Provide samples/examples through artifacts (visual or audio).
  • How did the government and/or the public respond to their actions? Cite evidence.
  • Impact on the world, society, and/or governmental laws and policies – Were the goals of movement achieved? Be able to justify your answer.
  •  What role did civil disobedience play in helping them to achieve their goals? Did their actions work against them in any way?

You infographic must have at least three sources cited, and must use a minimum of 10 images. You will present a copy of your infographic to each of your classmates. Remember, PiktoChart is a great website that easily allows you to create infographics. Click here to view an example inforgraphic.  

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Project Option 2: Compare and Contrast – Written Statement

Compare and contrast Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, focusing on their purpose, tone, figurative language and their definition of a ‘just law’.

Your response must be 1500 words, written in MLA format.

 

 

Project Option 3: Rhetorical Analysis – Protest Medium Presentationcbde8e01070568d58d7e0316db4b41ed

Acts of Civil Disobedience do not just take place in history books, but occur everyday around us. Find an example of modern civil disobedience from the last 50 years, and examine it. This can example of civil disobedience does not have to be limited to The United States, but can come from the global community.

  1. Conduct a rhetorical analysis of a protest medium from that act of civil disobedience – this could be a poster, a song, a poem, spoken word, a series of tweets, a speech or a visual demonstration. Determine if the protest medium was effective or not, and present this analysis of your selection to the class.
  2. Create your own protest medium for the topic, using rhetoric effectively to achieve your purpose. You may create a poster, record a song (at least 90 seconds long), write a poem, perform spoken word (at least 90 seconds long), write a tweet-stream (at least five tweets long, 140 characters with pictures), write a speech (at least three minutes long). If you do not read or perform these protest mediums, you must submit a recording of them.
AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Modern Political Rhetoric – ‘What is the relationship between the citizen and The State’?

As we continue our examination of the question ‘What is the relationship between the citizen and The State’, we turn our attention to modern political rhetoric. You guys will need to continue improving and building your analytic skills, as well as making connections between texts, ideologies, history and politics.

In our last series of rhetorical analysis, you will first examine the speeches of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama, former President Ronald Reagan, and the Amendments to the Constitution.

Next, using reliable research sources, you need to find an example of a speech from a US President or elected official that most closely defines or represents the relationship between the citizen and the state as you interpret it. You will need to annotate the speech and note where the language and rhetoric of the document connects to the Amendments or compares/contrasts with the speeches you analyzed this week for Socratic Seminar. As you analyze the speech you’ve picked, focus on the following questions:

  1. What is the speaker’s purpose?
  2. Do they achieve their purpose effectively through rhetoric?
  3. How does their rhetoric define the relationship between the citizen and the state?
  4. How does the speaker’s rhetoric align with that of our founding documents?
  5. How do the speaker’s rhetoric encourage, or not encourage, citizens to be active in their relationship with the state?

You should then write a reflection discussing how the interpretation of  our founding documents, or our Nation’s ideals, or the relationship between the citizen and the state, changes over time. You should reference the speeches you’ve analyzed in this reflection – the one you’ve selected, and the three I provided to you (Reagan, Trump, Obama). You should also reflect on how culture/technology/and beliefs influence that interpretation. At the end of this reflection, hypothesize what elements of our modern culture most impact our interpretation of our founding documents.

You will submit the annotated speech, and submit the typed reflection in the Google Classroom.

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018