To Write with Fire: Unapologetic Poets of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement

Author: Wendi Mungai Umoren

School/Organization:

Tilden Middle School

Year: 2016

Seminar: Thinking Black, Writing Revolution: The Harlem Renaissance in Conversation with the Black Arts Movement

Grade Level: 8

Keywords: Harlem Renaissance, revolution, racism, poetry, aesthetics, African American, black arts movement, literary period

School Subject(s): English, African American Literature

This curriculum unit will focus on the works of two significant literary periods of the 20th century- the Harlem Renaissance (New Negro Movement) and the Black Arts Movement (BAM). The unit’s purpose is to introduce 7th and 8th grade students to African American writers of separate eras who shared an incredible talent of challenging the ills of their environment and expressing themselves through the art of poetry. Students will be engaged as they learn the historical background of both periods and understand how political elements play key roles in artistic movements through interactive lessons. The cultural awakening that occurred during both artistic periods was fueled by artists searching for ways to construct a self-concept without conforming to the assumptions and conventions of their time. Students will learn about poets such as Helene Johnson, Claude McKay, Sterling Brown, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni.

This unit will give students the opportunity to learn through reading/writing poetry and song lyrics, watching documentaries, taking trips, and participating in interactive activities. Students will discover a past of rich culture and creativity.  It is my goal for students to learn how to transfer the raw emotions of their personal realities into poetry as they construct self-concepts. Poetry allows struggling readers to gain vocabulary skills and word recognition strategies with shorter texts as opposed to a novel. Since poems are filled with figurative language and sensory details, poor readers can focus less time on decoding and more time visualizing and constructing meaning. This unit was inspired during my participation in Dr. Herman Beavers’ seminar, Thinking Black, Writing Revolution: The Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement. This unit will take at 18-20 days to complete. The Common Core standards used in this unit (aligned to the Core Curriculum of The School District of Philadelphia) will challenge students to use their critical and analytical thinking as they read and learn poetry of both periods.

Download Unit: 16.04.01-unit.pdf

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Full Unit Text
Rationale

“She does not know

Her beauty

She thinks her brown body

Has no glory”- by Waring Cuney,  “No Images”

 

Students demand relevance. They want to feel relevant and be given material relevant to them in  social, cultural and generational ways.  A student who does not know his or her glory will not be your most motivated student.  How well do we see our students? Educators must acknowledge the culture of their student and celebrate the diversity in the classroom. Everyone has a poem, a story, and a song, which is worthy of a platform. Today, African American students continue to lag behind whites, Asians and Latinos on standardized tests. Studies prove that many African Americans struggle when it comes to vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skills. There are far too many factors behind the “achievement gap” to be addressed in this section, and none has to do with intelligence, or lack thereof.  We, as educators, are responsible for engaging our students in the classroom and the world. Gloria Ladson-Billings, author of “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children,” states that “culturally relevant teaching is about questioning (and preparing students to question) the structural inequality, the racism, and the injustice that exist in society” (128).

 

I pose the question: “How often are we exposing our students to poetry of the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement?”  Students connect to teachers who stay in the “know”. When teachers are able to combine the “cool” with the “school” and take in consideration students’ backgrounds, engagement will naturally take place. For instance, we know that today’s culture has a fascination with hip-hop.  Let us tap into their world to make a connection. We are able to teach children how the Harlem Renaissance opened the doors for the Black Arts Movement, and that in turn made it possible for the Rap/Hip Hop culture to exist. They need to understand that before hip-hop artist/activist Kendrick Lamar, there was hip hop artist/activist KRS-One (1990s). KRS-One’s politically charged lyrics were inspired by hip-hop artist/activist Chuck D of Public Enemy(1980s). Chuck D’s activism was influenced by the politically outspoken Last Poets (1970s). Hip-hop is a product of evolution. What evolution can take place in our classrooms?

 

Students can learn to transfer their thoughts, emotions, and opinions into a poem and have the satisfaction of knowing that they are preserving history creatively. Imagine having students that want to change the problems that have plagued their lives by becoming proactive rather than reactive. We see increasing headlines and video footage surrounding police brutality in our country. We read about the gun violence in most of the inner cities. There is a school-to-prison pipeline that continues to haunt many disadvantaged African-American communities. We see the disproportionate number of African American youth being suspended, dropping out of high school and being arrested. There are small activist groups within communities and the Black Lives Matter movement that challenge injustices such as racism. Our students do not need to look far to find social issues to incorporate into their writing. Poetry allows struggling readers to gain vocabulary skills and word recognition strategies with shorter texts as opposed to a novel. Since poems are filled with figurative language and sensory details, poor readers can focus less time on decoding and more time visualizing and constructing meaning. Based on the Poetry in America study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, readers of poetry are more sociable, read a variety of genres and attend cultural events at higher rates than non-poetry readers.

 

“You are young, gifted and Black. We must begin to tell our young. There’s a world waiting for you. Yours is the quest that’s just begun.” -James Weldon Johnson

Objectives

This unit is intended for students in Grade 8 English/ Language Arts. The objectives will include the following.

  •     Read, analyze and critique poetry of two historical literary periods- the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement
  •      Understand poetry as a literary art form
  •      Analyze the elements of poetry (tone, figurative language, theme, symbolism, etc.)
  •      Recognize the rhythmic aspect of poetry and how it has musical elements
  •      Develop critical thinking and writing skills
  •      Identify a variety of genres and forms of poetry
  •      Write a variety of poetry such as haikus, sonnets, free verse and dramatic monologues.

Strategies

This unit will include using the Internet and the Free Library of Philadelphia to conduct research on poets, poetry, politics and historical information of African Americans during two eras. The research activities will help them understand the meaning behind the poetry provided during this unit. They will determine the influence of politics and culture as they read and interpret poetry. Students will do the following:

 

  •       Attend a Poetry Slam/ Spoken Word Event
  •       View documentaries / Listen to audio recordings of poets reading their own words
  •       Read and analyze poetry
  •       Incorporate music and visual art with poetry
  •       Write and perform poetry for an audience (individually and in small groups)
  •       Visit historical areas (Harlem)
  •       Take a Virtual Tour
  •        Use Graphic Organizers
  •       Invite a local Spoken Word artist
  •       Letters to the Poet
  •       Create Powerpoint Presentations
  •       Documentary Viewing Worksheets
  •       Using Multimedia Sources
  •       Newspaper
  •       Online Trivia (Kahoot)
  •       Paraphrase poetry

Classroom Activities

 Classroom Activity One: Drop Me Off in Harlem

 

*This lesson should be taught after an introduction to the Great Migration. Use the suggested documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (see Appendix) It may take up to five days to view and discuss film. Allow students time to process information because it is a lot! It may help to ask questions and provide a viewing documentary worksheet for students to be active during their viewing. (In Appendix) Remember to hit pause and make your own “commercial/conversation breaks” to help all of your learners understand the content.

 

Objectives: The goal and purpose of this lesson is to have students practice reading nonfiction texts as they research a literary period. They will talk and write about the information using a graphic organizer (K-W-L). As an extension, they will write a brief report of their findings for homework.

 

Standards: Students will read and comprehend literary nonfiction and informational text on grade level, reading independently and proficiently as they research. (CC.1.2.7.L) They will identify and introduce the topic clearly, including a preview of what is to follow. (CC.1.4.7.B)

 

Materials:

CD player

Projector Board

Computers/Laptops with Internet access

Thin markers/ pens

Student journals

Post-it notes

Chart Paper

K-W-L Handout

 

1) [Begin all lessons for both periods with music. It pulls on the emotions connected to poetry] Have a copy of lyrics for all songs played. Song can play as students get settled in the classroom. For this lesson, play Drop Me Off in Harlem with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. When the song finishes, provide them with copies of the lyrics.

 

2) Provide students flash cards with Wow facts (Teacher made) of both artists. Have them trade and circulate cards.  Allow students to share facts. After five to seven minutes students must return all Wow facts.

 

3) Begin a K-W-L chart of Harlem. What do your students already know about Harlem? What would they like to know about the Renaissance? What have they learned?  Distribute a copy of the K-W-L chart they may fill out as they conduct research. (Each student should have a binder for all of their work) Instruct students to share and discuss their prior knowledge. Encourage students to share ideas! Write some of their responses on the large chart paper. After students fill out their first two sections (K and W) have them break up into pairs and share the research process of Harlem.

 

4) Encourage pairs to find a minimum of 10 interesting facts surrounding life in Harlem during the Renaissance. (20 minutes) Once students fill out  remaining section of their charts( L), they can share facts. This is a great time to open a discussion about their findings. Facts can be used for a trivia game like Kahoot (https://create.kahoot.it/account/register/)

 

5) Give them the Virtual Harlem Tours (Appendix)

 

6) Play the song again as they write a few words of reflection in their journal. If a prompt is helpful to students who do not know what to write use: How does the history of Harlem make you feel? Why?

 

7) Homework- Students should pretend they are living in Harlem and write a letter to relative or friend about their experience. The letter should include some information from the research.

 

Classroom Activity Two: News Story Sonnet (Two days)

 

Objectives: This lesson’s goal is to teach students about the structure of a sonnet as they read sonnets of the Harlem Renaissance. Students will determine the characteristics of sonnets after reviewing and analyzing examples.They will also determine the theme of the poems provided in this lesson is self-dignity. They will use recent newspaper articles to write their own sonnets based on the content.

 

Standards: Students must determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.(CC.1.2.7.D) Students will write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information clearly  when they do a biographical sketch of two poets.( CC.1.4.7.A Students will cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences, conclusions, and/or generalizations drawn from the text. (CC.1.3.8.B)

 

Materials:

CD player

Projector Board

Computers/Laptops with Internet access

Thin markers/ pens

Student journals

Post-it notes

Handouts (sonnets)

Binders

Newspaper Articles

 

1) Play Duke Ellington’s song Black Beauty (In Appendix). Pass out the sonnets written by Helene Johnson “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem” and Claude Mckay’s If We Must Die. Give students time to read silently.

 

2) Allow students to get in small groups and analyze poem. Ask them to write down answers to questions such as: Who/what is the subject of this poem? Which form of figurative language is used?  What do both poems have in common? Why are they considered sonnets? What is the theme? What is the tone? Why do you think Johnson wrote her sonnet? What do you think prompted Mckay to write his sonnet? How are the two poems similar/ different? What conditions did each writer experience before writing these poems. Give them a chance to write “questions to the author.” (Although students are working collaboratively in a group, they should continue to keep their work in binders) Have a discussion about Johnson’s criticism of the African Americans who turned away from their “down-home” roots. A great reference to help explain is Langston Hughes essay mentioned earlier,   After giving them enough time to respond, clarify that a sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines. Provide them with an article of Red Summer of 1919. You may use your projector to show the article as your students discuss the details.

 

3) Distribute copies of recent newspaper articles that pertain to injustices (social/racial) Explain to students that writers during the Harlem Renaissance used sonnets to open a conversation and elicit a reaction. Have students choose a theme and write a sonnet based on the the article. They should include tone, mood and poetic devices.

 

4) Students will self edit and then peer edit sonnets. Students will do informal mini presentations of their sonnets.

 

5)Play song again as students write a reflection of anything that they found interesting in the lesson.

 

5) Homework- Students must paraphrase one of the sonnets. They must also give a brief two paragraph biography of the poet chosen.

 

Classroom Activity Three: Nina and the Revolution

 

*This lesson should be given after the Harlem Renaissance period is taught. Also, use three days for active viewing of Eyes on the Prize; Awakenings. It is best to preview film in order to know the best stopping points for the much needed “conversation breaks”. It may also be a good idea to have printed copies of a documentary viewing worksheet to maintain focus. I recommend using an activity in between this and the next documentary, The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution. For example if the documentary is shown on Monday through Wednesday. This lesson will need at least two days to complete (Thursday and Friday). Of course, the timing varies based on the needs of your students.  Keep the interest and enthusiasm going!

 

Objectives: Students will interpret the meaning behind the poem and present their meaning using multimedia. They will analyze the elements of poetry (tone, figurative language, theme, symbolism, etc.). Students will also recognize the rhythmic aspect of poetry and how it has musical elements while they listen to selections of Nina Simone. This lesson will encourage students to use critical thinking and writing skills

 

Standards: Students are expected to organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; provide a concluding statement or section; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension.  CC.1.4.7.D  Students will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. E08.A-K.1.1.1 Students will establish and maintain a formal style. E08.C.1.2.4 E08.They will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

 

Materials:

CD player

Projector Board

Computers/Laptops with Internet access

Student journals

Index Cards

 

1)Play Sinnerman by Nina Simone. (10 minutes) Each group gets a copy of the lyrics. Model for students how to analyze the text after song is complete. Ask them: Who is Nina Simone? Who is the “sinnerman” and why does he need to run? Give them fact cards (teacher-made) to circulate as you give a brief introduction of Nina Simone. (They will find out more later for homework and extension activities)  As a class, discuss the turbulence during the time Sinnerman was written and performed. Identify the mood, symbolism, poetic devices and purpose of author and fill out a class chart. Emphasize to students that during this period African Americans made their own rules of poetry and focused on free verse as they conveyed their message.

 

2) Four Women– Nina Simone. Independently students will write down responses to the following questions: What does this song represent? What historical references are made in song? How does this relate to African American women? Do the women have anything in common? What?

 

3) Divide class into six groups. Once in groups, explain that they will be responsible for creating an artistic interpretation using images, words, music in a five to ten minute powerpoint  presentation. Each group will get a different poem to workon: Wise, I-Amiri Baraka, The Revolution Will not be Televised –Gil Scott-Heron, Ego-tripping– Nikki Giovanni, Malcolm -Sonia Sanchez, The Idea of Ancestry-Etheridge Knight  and We Real Cool- Gwendolyn Brooks should be distributed. The presentation should include: poetic devices,point of view, meaning, purpose of poet, audience, color of mood (blue-calm/ red-love or anger), biographical information of poet, images that relate to the poem, and EACH person in group must either write a personal comment or question to author at the end of the powerpoint presentation.

 

4) Groups will complete powerpoint and give presentations during the next class.

 

5) Play the youtube video of Mississippi Goddam- Nina Simone. (Appendix)  Students will write a response in their journal to the question: What is a revolution and why do they happen? Students may write a reflection of the video and what they think of Nina Simone.

 

6) Homework- Students will write a short biographical essay on Nina Simone including her involvement with Civil Rights.  Using the information in the essay, they will write a free verse poem about her.

Extra, Extra! (More Activities to Build and Use)

 “Poetry with a Twist”- students will combine three art forms (painting, music and poetry) in this activity. They will be given a blank canvas to paint as they listen to a poem. Music from the corresponding time period will be played in the background. *Extension- Share in a school exhibit and allow class to recite poem that was used.

  • “You Remind Me Of…”- Students must choose two artists (one from each time period) that are similar in style, tone or . They must find poems of the chosen poets that have similarities and make a Venn diagram of the poem or poet. They must also present biographical information of the poet and a newspaper article describing the climate for African-American people of that time period. Standards:CC.1.3.8.E Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. E08.A-C.2.1.2)

Annotated Bibliography

Reading List:

Bracey Jr., John, Sanchez, Sonia, and Smethurst, James. SOS- Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. Amherst and Boston. University of Massachusetts Press. (2014).

This anthology includes the work of key writers of the BAM such as Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Etheridge Knight, Nikki Giovanni and Ed Bullins. This book is useful to study in preparation for teaching the unit. Teachers will be properly introduced to the principles of the Black Arts Movement through the poetry, essays and short stories that are featured. This is an authentic document which gives insight on the history and thought behind the legacy of an American literary period.

 

Candaele, Kerry. Bound for Glory 1910-1930: From the Great Migration to the Harlem Renaissance. Chelsea House Publications. (1996).

This book is a great resource for teachers to browse when preparing for the unit. It gives a study of African American people during the 20th century. This book has a tremendous amount of information regarding the artistic, social and cultural accomplishments of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance after the great move from the rural South.

 

Gay, Geneva. “Preparing for Culturally Responsive Teaching.” Journal of Teacher Education. 53.2 (2002). 106-16

Geneva Gay gives insight as to why it is crucial for teachers to use the cultural experience and perspective of students to teach them effectively. This article reminds us as educators to maintain high expectations as we teach a diverse classroom.

Giovanni, Nikki. Shimmy, Shimmy, Shimmy like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance Through Poems. New York. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. (1996)

This book is a wonderful resource for both teachers and students to learn about the Harlem Renaissance and beyond. Along with Giovanni’s commentary, readers will find a collection of poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks and Ntozake Shange. Each poem is followed by an explanation of how each poet contributed to the movement.

 

Ladson-Billings, Gloria. The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass, (1994).

This is the second edition of Gloria Ladson-Billings’ acclaimed book about the importance of culturally relevant teaching. Teachers can gain insight on ways to work with the diverse talents of the students in their classroom.

 

Patton, Venetria and Honey, Maureen. Double-Take- A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology. Brunswick, New Jersey and London. Rutgers University Press. (2001).

This anthology is a collection of texts that explain a revolutionary literary period. The book explains the culture of the Harlem Renaissance, providing the works of key figures of this period such as Garvey, DuBois, Hurston, Grimke, Hughes, Cullen and Dunbar-Nelson.

 

Villegas, Ana-Maria, and Lucas, Tamara. “Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers: Rethinking the Curriculum”. Journal of Teacher Education 53.1 (2002). 20-32.

This article serves as a guide for teachers who want to help learners construct knowledge as they include students’ culture and ethnicity.

 

Filmography

 

The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution. Writer and Director Nelson, Stanley. Firelight Films. 2015.

This is a documentary film about the revolutionary group, the Black Panthers. Interviews of Panthers and former F.B.I. agents and actual footage will be seen. This is age-appropriate for middle school students. As any film, it is best to preview film before showing it to the class. If a teacher has a 45 minute time block with class, I suggest saving ten minutes for discussion with students. The film is 115 minutes, so it will take several days for viewing film. For teachers who have longer blocks with students, I still recommend breaking film into at least three day segments. It is important to have on-going conversations in order for students to stay engaged and have a clear understanding of this time dynamic period.

 

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Writer and Executive Producer Gates, Henry Louis. Kunhardt McGee Productions and Inkwell Films, 2013. Released on DVD January 2014.

This is a documentary which aired as a six part series on PBS. I think this film is an excellent resource to use in preparation for teaching this unit. Episode Four (see Appendix) will help students understand the state of African Americans in the South leading to the Great Migration.

 

 

Eyes on the Prize; Awakenings (America’s Civil Rights Movement). Produced by Blackside. Aired on PBS in 1987.

This was part of the award-winning PBS history series American Experience. It chronicles the African American experience in the United States from the mid 1950s to the mid 1980’s.  I included a link to part one (Awakenings) in the Appendix which gives valuable information on life in the black rural South during the 1950s. I believe this should be shown after the Harlem Renaissance section of the unit, as students are introduced to the Black Arts Movement. They need to be aware of the social injustices for African Americans present in many parts of the country in order to understand the frustration and passion behind the BAM.

 

On the Web

 

http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/film-study-worksheet-documentary.html

This is a great resource to use when showing documentaries. This website provides worksheets that you have permission to download and use for your students. (See Appendix)

 

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/chicago-race-riot-of-1919

This is a helpful website which offers details of some of the race riots in Chicago 1919. Keep in mind that race riots were occurring in dozens of cities during the course of 1919.

Appendix

Harlem Virtual Tours:

 

http://scalar.usc.edu/works/harlem-renaissance/title-page

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL1z2Z-_0Gg

This video shows a CAVE® virtual reality environment that allows a walkthrough of Harlem, New York in the 1930s during a period known as the Harlem Renaissance.

(Use both tours for first lesson mentioned in unit)

 

Music Playlist

 

Drop Me off in Harlem-  Duke Ellington/ Louis Armstrong   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvp-MZ8enVQ

Black Beauty– Duke Ellington https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4fP4cGo6sc

After You’ve Gone– Bessie Smith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCDOr6au_H8

Take the “A” Train – Ella Fitzgerald https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ_4cRG8B1g

God Bless the Child– Billie Holiday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKNtP1zOVHw

Strange Fruit- Billie Holiday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

Scandalize My Name– Paul Robeson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0X0uw9RzUo

Four Women– Nina Simone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRmzQ39sXTQ

Sinnerman– Nina Simone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYJYcVzXm2Q

Mississippi Goddam– Nina Simone  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ25-U3jNWM

What’s Going On?– Marvin Gaye https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kA3UtBj4M

Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud– James Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bJA6W9CqvE

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott-Heron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnJFhuOWgXg

Who’ll Pay Reparations on My Soul?- Gil Scott-Heron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVoDV3icbgc

Johannesburg– Gil Scott-Heron  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDkQY6cOH0s

 

Movie/Documentary Playlist:

 

Harlem Renaissance Period

 

The African-Americans Many Rivers to Cross Episode Four (Henry Louis Gates) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIOH8QvaL

Brain Pop Harlem Renaissance (Brief Introduction)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjOhNUFlI4Y

History Brief: The Harlem Renaissance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90PTxdsqfsA

 

 

Black Arts Movement Period

 

Eyes on the Prize; Awakenings (America’s Civil Rights Movement) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HHx2im_nDM

The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bcubkt6BwY

 

Film Study Worksheet for a Documentary Seeking to Persuade the Viewer

On a Matter of Political or Social Significance

Read the questions before you watch the film so that you will know what to look for while you watch. At breaks during the showing or at the film’s end, you will have an opportunity to make short notes in the spaces provided. If you make notes while the film is playing, make sure that your note taking doesn’t interfere with carefully watching the movie. You do not need to make any notes on the worksheet, but after the film is over, you will be required to fully respond to the questions.

 

Complete the assignment by answering each question in paragraph form. Answers need to be complete and comprehensive, demonstrating that you paid attention to the film and thought about what was shown on the screen.  You may use more than one paragraph if necessary. Be sure that the topic sentence of your first paragraph uses key words from the question. All responses should be in complete sentences using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

 

  1.   State the title of the film and the year it was released.  Then briefly describe what the film is about and the position that it advocates.

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1.  Describe the progression of the film: how it begins, what stages it passes through, and how it concludes.

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1. List six facts described in the film that impressed you and explain how each fact relates to the film’s premise or theme.

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1.   How did the filmmakers try to convince you of the position that the film supports? Look for appeals to logic, emotion, and prejudice.

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1.   If the filmmakers asked how this film could be improved, what would you tell them?  Describe the changes you would suggest in detail.

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1. Did the film change your mind about any aspect of the subject that it presents? What information, argument or persuasive technique caused you to change your mind?

Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Updated 2016.  © by TeachWithMovies.com, Inc. The public and teachers are licensed to use this worksheet for personal and classroom use.  See http://www.teachwithmovies.org/terms-of-use.html.

Standards

The Core Curriculum of the School District of Philadelphia is aligned to the Common Core Standards of Reading and Literature. The Common Core challenges students to use their critical and analytical thinking as they read and learn poetry and poetry terminology.

 

Students will read and comprehend literary nonfiction and informational text on grade level, reading independently and proficiently as they research. (CC.1.2.7.L)

They will identify and introduce the topic clearly, including a preview of what is to follow. (CC.1.4.7.B)

Students must determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.(CC.1.2.7.D)

Students will write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information clearly  when they do a biographical sketch of two poets.( CC.1.4.7.A)

Students will cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences, conclusions, and/or generalizations drawn from the text. (CC.1.3.8.B)

Students are expected to organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; provide a concluding statement or section; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension.  CC.1.4.7.D

Students will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. E08.A-K.1.1.1

Students will establish and maintain a formal style. E08.C.1.2.4 E08.

They will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CC.1.3.8.E Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. E08.A-C.2.1.2)