Analyzing the Power of Different Mediums: Little Rock Girl 1957 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3B:U2:L7

Analyzing the Power of Different Mediums: Little Rock Girl 1957

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present an idea. (RI.8.7)

Supporting Targets

  • I can use evidence from Little Rock Girl 1957 to support my understanding of the text and build background knowledge of the desegregation of schools in U.S. history.
  • I can understand the different mediums used to present an idea.
  • I can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present information on the civil rights movement.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Little Rock Girl 1957 structured notes, Chapter 3, pages 28-37 (from Lesson 5 homework)
  • Gathering Evidence note-catcher
  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Engaging the Reader: History of Mass Communication (7 minutes)

     B.  Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Evaluating Advantages and Disadvantages of Photography as a Medium (10 minutes)

     B.  Introducing the End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt and Analyzing the Impact of the Press in Little Rock Girl 1957 (25 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

    A.  Debrief Learning Targets (1 minute)

    B.  Previewing Homework (1 minute)

4.  Homework

     A.  Read Chapter 9, pages 161-191 in A Mighty Long Way and complete the structured notes.

  • Having spent the last three lessons focused on Martin Luther King's Montgomery Bus Boycott speech, students now broaden their analysis of the use of different mediums to convey ideas. 
  • In Lesson 6, students compared the advantages and disadvantages of using text and audio as mediums. Now, Lesson 7 focuses on the medium of photography, as well as the power of the press to tell a story accurately or not through the use of different mediums.  Then in Lesson 8 they will analyze the use of video. 
  • Students analyze photography in this first half of Unit 2, and will return to focus on photography as part of their final performance task in Unit 3.  Consider looking ahead at the final performance task prompt in Unit 3, Lesson 2 to preview what students will be asked to do.  
  • Now that students have begun to think about the role of various mediums for communication during the civil rights movement, both for informing people and shaping their views, they begin to zero in more closely on the role that the press--using various mediums--played in the movement. (Note: When referring to "the media," such as newspapers, magazines, television, etc., use the term " the press" to avoid confusion with the word "mediums.")
  • This lesson begins the deep work necessary for success on the mid-unit assessment and the end of unit essay. Students will use both the Gathering Evidence note-catcher and the Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer throughout the remainder of this unit to support this preparation. Preview the assessments in advance, to understand the arc of students' learning.
  • In the Opening of this lesson, students watch a short video on the history of media to build background knowledge about the advent of the use of photographic and video mediums to disseminate information. The purpose of beginning Work Time A with a brief history of mass communication is to help students realize that most of the forms of media that we take for granted are relatively new and were completely new or nonexistent in the civil rights era.
  • In advance: Prepare the video, "Media Studies: History of Media" for the Opening.  This video briefly shows graphic images from the Civil War era.
  • Please bear in mind that Youtube, social media video sites, and other website links may incorporate inappropriate content via comment banks and ads. While some lessons include these links as the most efficient means to view content in preparation for the lesson, be sure to preview links, and/or use a filter service, such as www.safeshare.tv, for actually viewing these links in the classroom.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

illuminate

Materials

  • Media Studies: "History of Media" (video; see Teaching Notes)
  • Digital projector (for video)
  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (begun in Lesson 4)
  • Document camera
  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (for teacher reference; from Lesson 4)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment: Informational Essay Prompt (one to display)
  • Gathering Evidence note-catcher (one per student and one to display)
  • Little Rock Girl 1957 (book; distributed in Lesson 3; one per student)
  • Gathering Evidence Note-catcher Teacher's Guide (for teacher reference)
  • A Mighty Long Way Structured Notes, Chapter 9, pages 163-172 (one per student)
  • A Mighty Long Way Supported Structured Notes, Chapter 9, pages 163-172 (optional; for students needing extra support)
  • A Mighty Long Way Structured Notes Teacher's Guide, Chapter 9, pages 163-172 (for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: History of Mass Communication (7 minutes)

  • Invite students to sit with their Washington D.C. discussion partners.
  • Explain to students that they will watch a short video about the history of mass communication. As they watch, they should make note of interesting things they notice, keeping in mind that the Brown v. Board of Education court case and the desegregation of schools in Little Rock happened between 1954 and 1960.
  • Project the Media Studies: "History of Media" video using a digital projector.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partners about something they noticed.
  • After 1 minute, cold call on a few pairs to report out interesting things they noticed.
  • Emphasize that as of 1957, events had only been photographed for 100 years and that photographic film was not invented until 1885. The first photograph transmitted via wire was in 1921. The advent of television news reporting was almost simultaneous with the events of the civil rights movement.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

  • Invite students to follow along silently as you read the learning targets aloud:

*   "I can use evidence from Little Rock Girl 1957 to support my understanding of the text and build background knowledge of the desegregation of schools in U.S. history."

*   "I can understand the different mediums used to present an idea."

*   "I can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present information on the civil rights movement."

  • Explain to students that, beginning with this lesson, they will be using events from A Mighty Long Way and Little Rock Girl 1957 to begin their work creating claims and providing evidence for the role of the press in shaping the story of events.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Evaluating Advantages and Disadvantages of Photography as a Medium (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they will now focus on the different ways people communicated their ideas about desegregation. Say something like: "One example of a medium is using words to communicate your ideas." Ask:

*   "What is another example of a medium?"

  • Listen for: artwork, photographs, political cartoons, etc.
  • Ask students to retrieve their Analyzing Mediums graphic organizers, which they began in Lesson 4, and display a copy with a document camera. Remind students that every medium has advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (drawbacks or downsides). Remind students that the prefix "dis-" means "not" or "opposite from."
  • Ask students to brainstorm:

*   "What are some of the advantages of choosing a photograph as a medium to communicate your point of view?"

  • Listen for: "Photographs are immediately engaging," "They are more objective than text or cartoons," "What you see is what you get," "Photographs might be taken more seriously than other kinds of artwork (because they seem more 'factual' or 'objective,'" etc. As students share ideas, write them on the displayed graphic organizer. Invite students to do the same on their own copies of the handout. Refer to the Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (for teacher reference) from Lesson 4 as necessary.
  • Ask students to brainstorm:

*   "What are some disadvantages of choosing a photograph as a medium to communicate your point of view?"

  • Listen for: "It might be harder to get a clear message across than it is with words," "If someone doesn't understand the photograph, they might interpret it differently than you intended," "Photography requires special equipment, so it is not accessible for all people," etc. Write these ideas down as students do the same.
  • Modeling work for students provides a concrete example of expectations for quality work.
  • Allowing students to work with a peer on practicing a new skill provides support for all students.

B. Introducing the End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt and Analyzing the Impact of the Press in Little Rock Girl 1957 (25 minutes)

  • Using a document camera, display the End of Unit 2 Assessment: Informational Essay Prompt. Read the prompt aloud while students follow along silently:

*   "In the events surrounding the Little Rock Nine and the struggle to integrate Central High, various mediums played a newly powerful role. In what ways did the press serve to illuminate events for a national audience, and it what ways did they give an incomplete or even inaccurate picture of events?"

  • Explain to students that this essay prompt has two parts: The first part asks them how various mediums illuminated or revealed the story of the Little Rock Nine, and the second part asks them how various mediums either gave an incomplete or inaccurate picture of events surrounding the Little Rock Nine.
  • Ask:

*   "What do you think it means to illuminate?" If necessary, use this word in a different context. For example: "The recent scientific study has served to illuminate the cause of the disease."

  • Allow students to turn and talk about what this word means and call on volunteers to provide a definition. Listen for students to understand that "illuminate" means "to bring to light," "to make something clear," and "to emphasize or highlight."
  • Distribute and display the Gathering Evidence note-catcher and ask students to take out their copy of Little Rock Girl 1957.
  • Explain to students that today they will use the photographs and text in Little Rock Girl 1957 to begin analyzing the power of the press in shaping stories. They will use this information when they write their end of unit essay.
  • Read the quote by Will Counts from page 32 of Little Rock Girl 1957 aloud to students: "It was always about journalism. We'd talk about cameras, lenses and film, but it was primarily about getting the story right." Tell students that this analysis of the press centers on whether or not the press was getting the story right or misleading public perception.
  • Model the analysis of the photograph on page 6 of Little Rock Girl 1957 by filling in the displayed note-catcher. Be sure to point out that students should use direct quotes from the text (with page numbers) when they provide evidence for their analysis on the note-catcher.
  • Instruct students to continue analyzing examples of how the press shaped the story of the Little Rock Nine by finding examples in Chapter 3 of Little Rock Girl 1957. Students may continue working with their New York City discussion partner, but each student should complete his or her own note-catcher.
  • Student examples and analysis will vary, but a sample of the types of student responses to look for has been provided on the Gathering Evidence Note-catcher Teacher's Guide. Note: this teacher's guide also contains examples from A Mighty Long Way, which students will analyze in a future lesson.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets and Previewing Homework (2 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the second learning target and read it aloud:

*   "I can understand the different mediums used to present an idea."

  • Emphasize that they have been working on analyzing the use of photographs to tell a story and that they will continue this work in future lessons by analyzing the photographs in Little Rock Girl 1957.
  • Invite students to give a Fist to Five on their understanding of how photographs were used in the telling the story of the Little Rock Nine and the general advantages and disadvantages of using photographs to tell a story.
  • Tell students that they will return to A Mighty Long Way and read Chapter 9 for homework.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Read Chapter 9 and complete A Mighty Long Way structured notes, Chapter 9, pages 163-172.
  • Provide struggling learners with the supported structured notes for additional scaffolding as they read the memoir.

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