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lesson 8
1 hour

Using Rhetoric to Advance Argument around Civil Disobedience


In this lesson, students read and analyze paragraphs 16–18 of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which King defines unjust laws and demonstrates the importance of civil disobedience. In this lesson students analyze these paragraphs through the lens of rhetoric, determining King’s purpose and analyzing his use of rhetoric to further that purpose. The lesson ends with a Quick Write on the following prompt: Determine King’s purpose in paragraphs 16–18 and analyze how he uses rhetoric to advance that purpose.


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