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lesson 17
1 hour

Choosing His Words Wisely


In this lesson, students carefully read and analyze the final five paragraphs of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” As students read, they determine King’s purpose for writing these paragraphs and explore his use of rhetoric to support this purpose. Students participate in small group discussions to further their understanding of King’s use of word choice and rhetoric to advance his purpose before completing this Quick Write to demonstrate their learning: How does King’s use of rhetoric in the final five paragraphs advance the purpose of the letter as a whole?


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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 17. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
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