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lesson 7
1 hour

Delineating and Discussing the Argument


In this lesson, students read and analyze paragraphs 12–15 of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which King defends his central claim that segregation laws are unjust. In this lesson, students delineate King’s argument and assess the validity of his reasoning by engaging in a thorough reading and discussion of the text. The lesson ends with a Quick Write on the following prompt: Delineate King’s argument in paragraphs 12–15. Assess the validity of his reasoning.


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