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lesson 1
1 hour

The Impact of Words


In this first lesson of the module, students read and analyze the salutation and first paragraph of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in which King addresses the clergymen to whom he is writing and introduces one of his purposes for writing the letter. For most of the lesson, students listen to a Masterful Reading of the entire letter, pausing to note their initial questions and reactions. Students also engage in a small group discussion about how King opens the letter. This lesson culminates in a Quick Write that requires students to analyze the impact of the specific words or phrases in the opening of the letter.


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Bilingual Language Progressions

These resources, developed by the New York State Education Department, provide standard-level scaffolding suggestions for English Language Learners (ELLs) to help them meet grade-level demands. Each resource contains scaffolds at multiple levels of language acquisition and describes the linguistic demands of the standards to help ELA teachers as well as ESL/bilingual teachers scaffold content for their English learning students.


From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 10 ELA Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
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