Studying Conflicting Interpretations: Perspectives on Plessy v. Ferguson: Part 3 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3B:U1:L7

Studying Conflicting Interpretations: Perspectives on Plessy v. Ferguson: Part 3

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of informational text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation. (RI.8.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite evidence to analyze the importance of the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
  • I can determine the court’s point of view in its decision on the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
  • I can analyze how the authors of the court’s decision and the dissenting opinion on Plessy v. Ferguson disagree on matters of interpretation.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Homework: The Court’s Decision (completed for homework)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson Text Dependent Questions

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

     A. Engaging the Reader: Reviewing the Court’s Decision (5 minutes)

     B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

     A. Plessy v. Ferguson Close Reading: The Dissenting Opinion (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

     A. Adding to the Notes (8 minutes)

4. Homework

     A. Reread Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion.

     B. Complete Homework: The Dissenting Opinion and the final question on Homework: The Court’s Decision. 

  • In this lesson, students closely read Justice John Marshall Harlan’s dissenting opinion in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. After reviewing key legal vocabulary and closely reading Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Court’s Decision in the previous lesson, students seek to understand the key reasons why Justice Harlan disagreed with the court’s decision. By comparing both sides of this important case, students will gain a better understanding of the legislation that created the segregated world Carlotta Walls lived in.
  • Harlan’s opinion has been excerpted into a series of short, relevant, complex paragraphs. Students read the excerpts closely, answering text-dependent questions and discussing their responses with a partner.  These materials have been excerpted in accordance with NYS guidelines for excerpting material (see module and unit overview document for more information).
  • In the next lesson students will complete the mid-unit assessment in which they will synthesize what they have learned about Plessy v. Ferguson.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

dissent, dissenting, pernicious, under the guise

Materials

  • Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion (one per student)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson Text-Dependent Questions: The Dissenting Opinion (one per student)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson Close Reading Teacher’s Guide: The Dissenting Opinion (for teacher reference)
  • Homework: The Dissenting Opinion (one per student)
  • Homework: The Dissenting Opinion (for teacher reference)
  • Document camera

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Reviewing the Court’s Decision (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to take out their completedHomework: The Court’s Decision and meet with their Denver discussion partners..
  • Turn and talk:

*   “What did the 13th Amendment do?”

*   “What did the 14th Amendment do?”

*   “What were some of the main claims of the court in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision?”

  • Cold call on a few students to share important or valuable information from their discussions. Invite them to compare information from their speaking notes and revise and add to them as necessary. Tell students they can use any information from their discussion with their partners, as well from whole class discussion to strengthen their speaking notes.
  • Tell students that today they will get a chance to read the dissenting opinion of Justice John Marshall Harlan on the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Tell them that most of the justices agreed on the decision of the court, except for Justice Harlan. Ask:

*   “What do you think it means if one justice had a dissenting opinion?”

  • Call on one or two volunteers to answer. If necessary, draw students’ attention to the prefix dis- and inquire what this prefix means.  Clarify that the prefix dis-means apart from and “dissent” means “disagree.” Justice Harlan did not agree with the other justices on this case, so he wrote a dissenting opinion. Turn and talk:

*   “Why do you think the U.S. court system allows for dissenting opinions in every ruling?”

*   “What does it say about Justice Harlan that he stood alone in his dissent?”

  • Call on one or two volunteers to share a response. Listen for students to say that Justice Harlan predicted the problems the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling would cause and had the courage to make his voice heard, even though all of the other justices disagreed with him.
  • Consider providing accelerated students with a blank card so that they may choose an unknown word and independently define it using context clues.
  • Especially for ELLs and struggling readers, consider providing additional support around the multiple meanings of the word “justice” throughout the module. Students may need clarification that “justice” in this case does not refer to fairness, or a legal process; it is a title used for the judges of the Supreme Court.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Tell students that today, they will complete a close reading of Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion, and turn in speaking notes on the decision as well. The close reading and speaking notes will help them to prepare for the Fishbowl discussion later in the unit, in which they will discuss the different perspectives of the Supreme Court justices.
  • Read the learning targets aloud to students:

*   “I can cite evidence to analyze the importance of the Plessy v. Ferguson case.”

*   “I can determine the court’s point of view in its decision on the Plessy v. Ferguson case.”

*   “I can analyze how the authors of the court’s decision and the dissenting opinion on Plessy v. Ferguson disagree on matters of fact and interpretation.”

  • Tell students that they will zoom in closely on the dissenting opinion today. Remind them of their hard work on close reading in the previous lesson, as well as in previous modules. Remind students that the dissenting opinion is a complex text, and that multiple readings will help them better understand it.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Plessy v. Ferguson Close Reading: The Dissenting Opinion (30 minutes)

  • Distribute Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion and the Plessy v. Ferguson Text Dependent Questions: The Dissenting Opinion. Tell students they will now read Justice Harlan’s dissenting opinion on the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Inform students that you will read the text aloud first, then they will get a chance to reread when they collaborate with a partner to work on text dependent questions. 
  • Inform students that key vocabulary words are defined at the end of each section of text, in the form of footnotes. Invite students to refer to the footnotes when they hear a word they do not know as you read aloud. Read the text aloud with expression, modeling fluency.
  • Use the Plessy v. Ferguson Close Reading Teacher’s Guide: The Dissenting Opinion to conduct the close reading of the text with students.
  • Once the close reading has been completed, give specific positive feedback on the way they reread the text, reflected, and wrote individually, and/or collaborated with their partners to gain a deeper understanding of the court’s decision.
  • When reviewing graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Consider rereading the text aloud with small groups of struggling readers, pausing to clarify and check for understanding.
  • For students reading significantly below grade level, consider streamlining the text by shortening sentences and simplifying difficult vocabulary.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

Adding to the Notes (8 minutes)

  • Distribute and display Homework: The Dissenting Opinion.Tell students that the notes focus mostly on how Justice Harlan interprets information such as the 13th and 14th Amendments differently than the other justices.
  • Using Homework: The Dissenting Opinion (for teacher reference), model answering the first question on a document camera. Think aloud for students about how the 14th Amendment was written to ensure equal protection by the law for all people. Point out how Justice Harlan’s opinion differs from that of the rest of the court.
  • Remind students that they also need to answer the final question on their Homework: The Court’s Decision from Lesson 6 now that they have read the dissenting opinion.
  • Consider providing quick verbal or written summaries of the 13th and 14th Amendments to struggling students.
  • Consider providing students with highlighters to identify where the decision references the amendments before writing.

Homework

Homework
  •  Reread Plessy v. Ferguson: Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion.
  • Complete Homework: The Dissenting Opinion and the final question on Homework: The Court’s Decision.

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