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Teaching Reading
April 2015
By Jenna Franklin

School Context
School: South High School
Place: Denver, CO
The course I am teaching is called Introduction to Literature and Composition. There is
no pre-requisite for this course. It appears to be the basic introductory English course for
non-ELA learners at SHS. It is for grades 9-12, but seems geared toward 9
graders. It is not
the honors section of the same course. The course description is as follows:
This introductory English course is organized around the literary genres
of poetry, the short story, drama, nonfiction, epic poetry, and the novel.
In addition to the literature, students learn spelling and vocabulary, as
well as specified composition, grammar, oral communication, and research
skills. Fulfills graduation requirement. (South High School Course Catalog 201213)
This class period lasts 50 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. However, I will only see
these students on Thursday (not Wednesday) and Thursday class periods will be 1 hour
and 40 minutes. (About South High School)

Master Table of Contents


The Text
Author Background
Reading Strategies
Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion
Poetry & Other Genres
Digital Literacies


Step 1. The Text

A. Bradbury, Ray.
Fahrenheit 451
. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951. Print.
B. Why I chose this Text.
I chose this text because it was listed in Poudre School
Districts supplemental reading lists for both 9
and 10
grade. In relation to
Common Core, this novel meets several standards for 9grade reading. For
states that students must learn to
analyze how complex characters
(e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a
text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
This classic dystopian novel has powerful and engaging themes concerning
government control (Big Brother, etc.), society, and independent thought. I also love
the books core message: critical citizen readership and individual freedom of
thought. In addition, this book is fast-paced (action-adventure), character-driven,
and futuristic. High school students are already reading books just like this today
The Hunger Games
, etc.), making this an easily accessible book for these
readers and one I should easily be able to convince them of its merit.
C. My goals for this text include:
Familiarize students with the genre of dystopian literature and how this
novel operates within that context. Also, develop students toolbox for
reading dystopian literature.
Help students connect this text to their experiences, other texts, and their
modern world.

Step 2. Author Background

To introduce this author, I created a Prezi presentation. This presentation can be accessed
with the following link:

Step 3. Reading Strategies

Table of Contents
A. Reading Strategies
Reading Strategy #1: Activating Prior Knowledge
Reading Strategy #2: Making Inferences
Reading Strategy #3: Sentence Work
Reading Strategy #4: Double-sided Bookmarks
Reading Strategy #5: Synthesis Charts
B. In-Class Activities
In-class Small Group Activity: Literature Circles
In-class Large Group Activity: Community Graphic Novel
C. Unit Writing Assignment: Argumentative Essay
D. Unit Writing Assignment Assessment Tool

Reading Strategy #1: Activating Prior Knowledge (KWLs)

Before Reading
copied from Assessment Portfolio
Reading Focus:
The age group is 9
grade (plus, possibly 10
grade ELA learners). I could not find a
required or summer reading list for Denver Public Schools or for South High School, but
according to Poudre School Districts Supplemental Novels list,
Fahrenheit 451
(the text to
be used in this assessment) is considered appropriate and encouraged reading for 9
graders. This texts reading level is 8or 9grade, according to the Smog Readability
Many of the 9
graders in my classroom at South High School lack a clear
understanding of genre categories. They understand the difference between fiction,
non-fiction, romance, and action books. But, they do not have a sophisticated
comprehension of sub-genres and the importance of understanding these categories, nor
tools for reading books from certain genres. I believe that this lack of knowledge could
contribute to some of my students struggling to find books of interest or track down new
reads based on similarity on theme and setting (Kittle). Also, as we are soon to begin our
dystopian literature unit and reading
Fahrenheit 451
, I fear that not understanding the
novels genre will interfere with meaning and result in reading focus skills. Many of my
students have read dystopian literature before my class; they love
The Hunger Games
. However, based on my conversations with them about books such as these,
students value the action and cool factor of these futuristic novels, not necessarily taking
time to understanding how the nuances of this dystopian genre make these awesome
books what they are.
Students need to think about text genre before reading. Different types of texts
require different reading mindsets, prior knowledge (vocabulary, plot structure, themes,
etc.), expectations, and comprehension strategies. Students, like all critical readers, need to
consider their approach to reading. This ensures a more critical and informed
consciousness going into the reading experience, enhancing a readers ability to
understand, make inferences, and connect text to world. Kylene Beers wrote, dependent
readers often struggle because they dont predict what the selection might be about, dont
think about what they already know about a topic, and dont form images as they read
KWLs activate students prior knowledge, help them set purposes for reading, and
confirm personal experiences and build upon them (McLaughlin 118). Beers also cites
KWLs as being beneficial for preparing students to read: a KWL provides a framework that
helps readers access their knowledge about a topic before they read, consider what they
want to learn, and then record what they have learned once they finish reading (80).
Lesson Objectives:
After completing this assessment, students will
Understand genre and the purpose of identifying it
Be able to identify the genre of Science Fiction and sub-genre of Dystopian Lit
Understand a variety of tools for approaching Dystopian Lit

Be able to adjust their reading approach to meet the needs of Dystopian Lit
Instructional Strategies:
First, I will begin the lesson with a brief, relaxed discussion about
The Hunger Games
and any other similar books the students wish to discuss. Ill ask them what they like about
these books and how these books differ from other books they have read, such as
American Born Chinese
. This will ignite students prior knowledge about
dystopian literature. Then, Ill explain how all of these books weve been talking about can
be considered dystopian literature and ask students to complete the first column of a KWL
on dystopian literature (see attached) based on their reading and our discussion. Next, I
will do an interactive mini-lecture on text genres (see attached). After the activity and
mini-lecture, students will complete the final two columns of the KWL to prepare for
Fahrenheit 451
and our dystopian literature unit.

Name ___________________________________
Dystopian Literature KWL
Complete this KWL to begin our unit on dystopian literature. This knowledge
will help prepare us to read our next book about a firefighter who burns books as a career
in a futuristic world,
Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury.
What I Think I Know About
Dystopian Literature

What Ive Learned About the

sub-genre of Dystopian

Tools I Have Acquired

to Read Dystopian






Please Note:
A complete KWL will have explored 5 ideas for each column and provide
examples from the mini-lecture and personal reading experiences. A complete KWL will also
express new knowledge, not repetition of prior knowledge from the first column to the lat
column. We will refer to this KWL throughout the unit and add to this tool as we learn new
concepts and themes.

Mini-lesson on Genre and Reading Dystopian Literature

Understand genre and the purpose of identifying it
Be able to identify the genre of Science Fiction and sub-genre of dystopian Lit
Understand a variety of tools for approaching dystopian Lit
Come up with a list of genres you want to focus on and construct definitions for
each, including Science Fiction. Also, make sure you have a few titles for each for
offer as examples (in case students dont mention them).
Great Resource for students:
o Science Fiction
: includes speculative scenarios, dystopian universes,
futuristic technology that is feasible in a distant or not-so-distance future,
and impact of science on society (ex.
1984, Star Wars, Feed
o Fantasy:
defined by presence of magic and supernatural elements, not
scientifically feasible in any distant future (so we think!) (ex.
Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings
o Romance:
focuses on romantic relationships between people, usually ending
in a happily-ever-after (ex.
Fifty Shades of Grey
o Historical Fiction
: broad genre set in the past and focusing on historical
themes, often very detailed settings (lots of author research) (ex.
Maggie Girl of the Streets,
The Other Boleyn Girl

o Thriller
: fast-paced adventures stories, usually involving a villain and hero
(legal, medical, spy, etc.) (ex.
, ???)
o Contemporary
: marked my first-person, often emotional voices (ex.
The Fault
in our Stars, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Speak
o Literary Fiction
: huge genre, but books that are character-centered and
emphasize language and writing style (ex.
The Kite Runne
o Comedic
: main purpose is to make the reader laugh, farce, parody, slapstick,
or satire (ex.
A Confederacy of Dunces, About a Boy)
o Non-fiction
: includes memoir, narrative, and travel all focused on relaying
real-world events (ex.
Into the Wild, Eat Pray Love, A Walk in the Woods, Wild,
me Talk Pretty One Day
Plan of Action
Ask students to name some of their favorite books. Write them all on the board,
categorizing by genre as you go.
Once you have a few titles for each of your chosen genres, ask students to identify
the categories for each grouping of titles. How are the similar?
Write the students genre title and the standard genre title beside each grouping.
So, why is it helpful to group books by theme and focus?
o To figure out what books we like and read similar ones.

o To know how to read them.

Approach a book/Tools in General
o Activate prior knowledge (historical events, interests, etc.)
o Prepare for appropriate diction, style, dialogue, etc.
o Prepare for appropriate plot structure (linear, flash-backs, etc.)
o Know fact from fiction
Lets look at Science Fiction specifically, seeing as thats out next book.
o Re-iterate genre definitions
o Sub-genre of Dystopian Literature
DysTopia literally means Bad Place in Greek
Things went badly wrong, screwed up ideologies and ethical codes
Antagonist= society; totalitarian; individual freedom is suppressed
beneath greater governing bodies (Big Brother)
Often ending with extreme societal change, disruption of the system
by a radical individual(s)
First-person point of view or focus; emphasis on individual thought
processes, actions, and agency
Hunger Games, I am Legend, Divergent, Feed
Tools for approaching Dystopian Literature (I would make a colorful prezi for this,
including video clips and book covers)
o Dystopias are often depicted as Utopias, wonderful solutions to societys
problemsdont believe what you read,
think for yourself
; formulate your
own perspective
o Place yourself in the main characters shoes
and consider how you would act,
react, or think
o Identify the warning to society/the cautionary tale
o Characterize the narrator
; examine how he acts and think differently from
everyone else
o As you read, try to
answer the texts deeper questions
: what does this text say
about what it really means to be human?
o Identify the
before and after
: why did society get this way? What solutions
were they offering? What do you think will happen after the ending? (Hope?
No hope?)
o Sketch
the setting in your mind or on paper. How does this world
different than yours?


Reading Strategy #2: Making Inferences

During Reading
Adapted from Interactive Notebook
Reading Focus:
The problem with comprehension, Beers discovered in a moment of unsettling
realization, it appeared, was that kids couldnt make an inference (62). Students cant
simply translate/decode the text. Saying the words aloud or in ones head isnt enough to
create thorough reader comprehension. Making inferences is an action-based reading
strategy. Students must reflect on their interaction with the text in order to generate
meaning. Beers offers several questions that lead students to make inferences. These help
categorize this complex meaning-making process independent readers enact (65).
Learning Objectives:
Students will develop inference-making strategies
Instructional Strategies:
Step 1
. (15 minutes)
Explain to students that reading should be an active meaning-making process, not a
passive assuming of knowledge and words.
Hand out the Making Inferences sheet (see attached).
Go over the questions and directions.
Model the inference making process by placing a section of text on the projector and
going through the steps (all 13). This is essentially a Think Aloud.
Ask students if they might add any to your list as you go.
Step 2.
(35 minutes)
Give students time to work through this activity in class.
Ask students to pair share their work.
So, did your peers find different inferences that you did? Why do you think we
notice different details when we read? Yeah, thats why its so important to chat with
your friends about what youre reading. Two minds will churn up more ideas than


Making Inferences

Figure 5.2. Beers. Types of inferences skilled readers make. 65.

Making Inferences Steps:

1. Scan and print a page from the text.
2. Copy and paste the scanned and printed page from the text into your interactive
3. Circle any sections of text that you can make an inference from. Once circled, label
the section with the number corresponding to the appropriate inference question
from the box above. Start with number 1.
4. At the bottom of your notebook paper (or on the back) list the numbers in order and
write a sentence or two explaining the inference. Work through all 13, but know that
some of them may not apply.


Reading Strategy #3: Sentence Work

During Reading
Adapted from Interactive Notebook
Reading Focus:
Penny Kittle shared her success with developing writing craft in her students
through asking them to imitate authors sentence craft (112). This is called Sentence Work.
Students must first analyze the authors style, word choice, structure, and other
sentence-level details before beginning to write their imitation. I dont think this is
plagiarism, Kittle explained, I think it is part of our study of the craft of what were
reading (113).
In my own writing, I have noticed that imitating the craft of writers I admire
challenges me to either step out of my comfort zone or see the difference between my own
amateur writing techniques and those of my writing heroes. It made me feel powerful that I
was able to evoke some of their voice into mine, without changing my own distinct voice.
Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to identify the details of an authors writing craft
Students will be able to imitate an authors sentence-level craft
Instructional Strategies:
Step 1.
(15 minutes)
Explain that imitating another writers craft can help us try our new methods,
stepping out of our comfort zone and strengthening our familiarity with craft. It can
also help us find our own voices. If we imitate authors we love already, we will be
happy to see that influence in our own writing craft. Furthermore, doing this can
prepare us to tackle the authors language throughout the rest of the book.
Model Sentence Work for the students. Place a paragraph of
Fahrenheit 451
on the
projector. Think Aloud as you write a new paragraph which imitates the authors
craft, but is likely about a whole other topic. As you go, say things like: I see the
author is using a lot of repetition. Hmmhow will I incorporate that? This will
show how analysis of writing craft can be done through imitation.
SAMPLE EXCERPT: And then he was a shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling
gibbering manikin, no longer human or known, all writhing flame on the lawn as
Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him (Brabury).
MY IMITATION: and then he was a streaking torpedo, a blur of black and white fur,
no longer grinning and slobbering, but hurling across the grass in a thunder of
beating paws as the little blue ball arced against a grey sky and slowly, gracefully
began its plummet toward earth.
Step 2.
(35 minutes)
Ask students to choose a selection from the book.
Write the paragraph into your interactive notebook. Only do about 2 sentences. This
might seem boring and silly, But, rewriting the text in our own hand can slow us
down enough to notice details of craft before the rewriting process.

Brainstorm some details of Bradburys craft. Then, emulating Bradburys style, write
your own paragraph. Choose a writing topic that is not related to themes from the
book or text selection to avoid using the same vocabulary, etc.
Share with a partner. Ask your partner what elements they tried to emulate.


Reading Strategy #4: Double-Sided Bookmarks

During Reading
Copied from Assessment Portfolio
Reading Focus:
The age group is 9
grade (plus, possibly 10
grade ELA learners). I could not find a
required or summer reading list for Denver Public Schools or for South High School, but
according to Poudre School Districts Supplemental Novels list,
Fahrenheit 451
(the text to
be used in this assessment) is considered appropriate and encouraged reading for 9
graders. This texts reading level is 8
or 9
grade, according to the Smog Readability
The 9
grade readers in my classroom lack active reading skills. Most of my students
are proficient or above average readers. But, actually, this is the problem. They read quickly
and efficiently, without slowing down to ask questions, make connections, or ponder the
books deeper meanings. They come to class prepared to take a content quiz, which they
would ace. But, they do not come prepared for deep discussion or knowledge application
activities. Thus, these students need a planned activity to encourage slower, deeper
reading. However, after simply getting most of my students to slow down in their reading,
the individual reading needs of each student vary widely. Some need to improve at making
connections. Some need to question characters reliability.
Dependent readers often fail to see reading as an active process, said Kylene Beers
(102). Many of my students simply read, take the quiz, and are happy. Double-sided
bookmarks help guide students interaction with the text, probing them to think critically
and question what is happening in the story. After the mini instruction on how to use
bookmarks, students will create their own bookmarks based on their self-assessed reading
needs. Throughout the unit, students will use their bookmarks, adjust their bookmark
purposes, and submit them to me for check-ins.
Beers offers bookmarks as a during-reading strategy and defines a few types of
bookmarks (130-132). McLaughlin too notes how bookmarks, specifically I wonder . . .
bookmarks, are designed to instigate student thinking and questioning by providing a
template for active reading (113-114).
Learning Objectives:
After completing this assessment activity, students will:
understand how to use double-sided bookmarks to focus on improving specific
reading skills
have self-assessed their reading weaknesses
have developed a strategy for improving their self-assessed reading weaknesses
Instructional Strategies:
Step 1
. Show my students examples of types of bookmarks and model how one might use
each with
Fahrenheit 451
Some Bookmark Options (Just a few!):
o Vocabulary= Mark My Words
o Plot Structure= Marking Time or Mark Big Events
o Comprehension= Questions and I wonder . . . and I predict

o Characterization= Mark Who?

o Visualizing the text, Imagery= Mark Image/Sketch It
o Mark Image/Sketch It
Step Inside the Classroom: (teachers dialogue in italics)
As a reader, I know that I struggle with visualizing the text. Sometimes, I get to
reading so fastbecause Im dying to know what happens nextthat I barely
know what the setting, characters, or actions look like.
So, knowing that this is something I struggle with, I would select a bookmark
purpose that helps me develop imagery while reading.
Place the Mark Image/Sketch It bookmark sample on the Doc Cam.
To make these bookmarks work, we have to slow down our reading, always
pushing ourselves to think deeper.
Fahrenheit 451
to random passage and read a paragraph aloud. Model
the process.
o Think Out Loud:
Hmm. . . .a mechanical hound . . . what might that
look like? So, I take my bookmark, mark the page number, and draw the
mechanical hound based on Bradburys textual clues . . . .
So, this is how I am making myself slow down when I read and really visualize
the characters and scenes.
Now, after a few chapter of this, I might find that I am beginning to visualize
the text more easily and dont need the bookmark as a reminder or sketchpad.
So, I choose a different bookmark purpose . . . etc.
Show the 6 bookmark purposes listed above and explain each. Also,
emphasize that students can create their own bookmark purposes as long as
they run them by you first.
Step 2
. If this is the first time, we will decorate bookmark bags together to keep their
bookmarks collected in. Students will tape the name of the book to the outside of the Ziploc
baggie and each student will keep a pencil case inside the classroom to store all of their
bookmarks for the semester.
Step 3
. Give them a stack of colorful double-sided bookmark templates printed on
cardstock (page 16) and ask them to fill in each sides purpose.
Ask them to choose 2 bookmark purposes that correspond to their self-identified
reading needs. At this time, also place a bunch of bookmark samples at the front of
the room for students to peruse for ideas.
Allow students about 10 minutes to create their first set of bookmarks.


Double-Sided Bookmark Templates


Reading Strategy #5: Synthesis Charts

After Reading
Copied from Assessment Portfolio
Reading Focus:
The age group is 9
grade (plus, possibly 10
grade ELA learners). I could not find a
required or summer reading list for Denver Public Schools or for South High School, but
according to Poudre School Districts Supplemental Novels list,
Fahrenheit 451
(the text to
be used in this assessment) is considered appropriate and encouraged reading for 9
graders. This texts reading level is 8
or 9
grade, according to the Smog Readability
My 9
grade students have difficulty understanding synthesis, the combining of
others ideas and ones own and, based on evidence and experience, developing something
new to say. This is also linked to making inferences about a text, another difficulty my
students have. My students have been trained to read texts and regurgitate information
from authors, academic sources, or their teachers. This is what standardized tests and basic
literary essays ask of them. My students have been turning in essays with good
punctuation, plenty of evidence from sources, and clear key ideas. But, the essays lack voice
and unique insight. Nothing new is said by these students; I do not believe that this lack of
critical thinking exists because they have nothing to say. They make personal and
interesting connections between texts during classroom discussions! They seem afraid that
such insights do not belong on paper.
These students lack the critical reading skills needed to produce unique, personal
writing. I think the missing link here is synthesis. Students do not know how to combine
multiple sources of information (including their own insights!) to argue a claim about a
certain topic. An inability to synthesize information while one reads results in an inability
to synthesize source material when writing. This is an extremely essential skill that
students need to master before entering college, or the workforce.
This activity is adapted from It SaysI Say, developed by Kylene Beers (166). I am
adapting this strategy to focus more on synthesis, not making inferences. This will help
students develop their own unique opinions and ideas about a text. Essentially, it is both a
reading strategy and a pre-writing strategy.
Beers chart provides a visual scaffold that helps students organize their thoughts
as they move from considering whats in the text to connecting that to their prior
knowledge (165). While the Synthesis Chart differs from Beers activity, I think it will
accomplish the similar goal of helping students to categorize and visualize the process of
answering a question based on textual evidence, scholars ideas, and personal analysis to
come up with a critical, original answer.
Learning Objectives:
After completing this activity, students will:
Clearly understand synthesis
Develop an answer to a chosen inquiry question by combining evidence from
multiple sources


Instructional Strategies:
Students will do this activity at the end of our dystopian lit/
Fahrenheit 451
unit as a way to
process their understanding of the text and prepare to write their unit essay.
Step 1
. Explain to students how to use the chart as a brainstorming and planning tool. Go
over the three question options in class to make sure everyone understands.
Step into the classroom
: (teachers dialogue in italics)
o So, lets say that I am interested in question #1. First, I am going to fill out
column 1. Ill do it first because Ive already read the book. I havent actually
found my sources yet. So, how does the text answer this question?
o On page 79, Faber says, Do you know why books such as this are so important?
Because they have quality . . . .
o Excellent! So, this is a piece of evidence answering the inquiry question. Ill
write it no my column three. I dont have to write the whole thing, just the page
number enough to remember the purpose.
Write this into the chart.
o And so on until I have find several examples from the text to fill my chart.
o After, its time to do some outside reading to gather a few more perspectives.
Step 2
. Although students are already somewhat familiar with using databases to find
sources related to their topic, take some time now to reiterate these skills. Explore some
options on Academic Search Premier on the projector. They only need two sources for the
synthesis chart and three-page essay.
Step 3.
Ask students to select an inquiry question from three provided which interests
them, then complete the Synthesis Chart (see attached) to answer the question. Emphasize
that later they will be writing a four-page paper on this inquiry question, so they need to
choose one theyd like to writer about.
Within this activity, students will also be asked to read two scholarly articles about the text
and pertaining to their inquiry question. Thus, students will be given one week to complete
their synthesis charts.
Step 4:
The next week, conference briefly with each student to make sure that they have
completed the synthesis chart thoroughly in preparation to begin essay writing. If their
synthesis chart is lacking depth or specific elements, ask the student to finish the chart and
re-submit it later.


Name: ____________________________________
Synthesis Chart Assignment
: Complete the following chart as a brainstorming exercise in synthesis to
prepare for writing your final essay on
Fahrenheit 451
. Choose one of the following three
questions as your essay prompt. You will need to write a three-page essay answering the
question, so use this chart to gather your sources, organize your ideas, and structure your
essay response. Use the back of this sheet or a loose-leaf paper if you need to.
1. What does
Fahrenheit 451
reveal about the importance of a citizen readership?
2. What argument does Bradbury seem to be making about government power
within a society?
3. How can
Fahrenheit 451
be compared to our contemporary society?
These questions are far-reaching and invite many different responses. Feel free to
focus on a sub-question existing within one of these broader questions.
Synthesis Chart
(available on class webpage too)

Step 1:
Fahrenheit 451
1. Find information from the
text that will help you
answer the question.

Step 2:
Scholars Say
2. Read two scholarly
articles about
Fahrenheit 451
help you answer the

Step 3:
I Say
3. Think about what
you know about that

Step 4:
And So
4. Combine what the text
says with what scholars say
and what you know to come
up with something new to
say (the answer). This is

Citations for scholarly articles:

1. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Small Group Assignment: Book Clubs & Literature Circles

During Reading
Adapted from Interactive Notebook
Reading Focus:
This Teach A Text unit is geared toward 9
graders in an introductory level
literature and composition course. According to Carlsens stages of Literacy Appreciation,
and 10
grade students enjoy books with characters that mirror or reflect their own
concerns (Beers 274). They are not focused on lifes bigger issues or literary devices
and theyve slightly surpassed interest in plot/conflict/setting/characters (274). But, all of
these questions still need to be addressed to assess reading comprehension. In other
words, these questions need to be scaffolded from easiest to most difficult.
Most importantly, students need to be allowed time to personally connect with the
story and characters before being forced to analyze the text for certain literary devices and
analytical interests. This what what Book Clubs offer. Literary Circles come after and are
more structured for analytical thinking.
Learning Objectives:
Students will personally connect with the text
Students will approach the text with analytical purpose
Instructional Strategies:
This lesson is meant to be done on the first day of using Book Clubs and Lit Circles. After
today, students will know this process and what is expected of them. Every class period, it
should consume the first 25 minutes of class.
Step 1.
(5 minutes)
Place Book Club groups on the board. There should be 3 students in each group.
Explain to students that Book Club is their time, utterly and completely, to talk about
the book. They may vent about it or express their enjoyment in it. These first 10
minutes should be time for making personal connections with the plot, characters,
setting, themes, etc.
Explain that after Book Club, student will be asked to merge with another Book Club
group to form a larger, Literature Circle. Literature circles will last 15 minutes and
students will have a list of specific questions that probe deep thinking about the
text. Stress that while Book Club is a personalized and fun, Literature Circles are
meant to be deep discussions in which students are working toward deeper
meanings and analytical purposes. Book Club and Literature Circles should not
overlap. It is important to have time to personally connect with the text, but also
time to engage deeper thinking.
Step 2
. (10 minutes)
Book Clubs
Because it is the first day, give students some optional reader response questions
that encourage thinking about basic plot concepts and help develop personal
connections to the text (see attached).

During this time, do not wander amongst the students. Let them feel free and open
to discuss without you hovering over them.
Step 3.
(15 minutes)
Literature Circles. Hand out todays Lit Circle Questions (below).
During this time, wander amongst the groups listening and giving encouragement.
Students may be reluctant to share their ideas of their groups ideas on this first day,
so be sure you take a mental list of names as you wander. Who is saying some
interesting things that could benefit the class as a whole?
Step 4.
(20 minutes)
After Lit Circles are done, bring the class together to share their discoveries with the
Also, ask students whether they think the number of minutes allowed for each
group was enough.
Book Club QuestionsChapter 1,
Fahrenheit 451
1. What are your first thoughts about the text?
2. What emotions of feelings did you have while reading? Identify the parts that caused
these feelings.
3. Did this text remind you of any other texts? Movies? Books?
4. Did this text remind you of personal life experiences? How so?
5. What confused or surprised you about this text?
6. Do you like the book do far? Why or why not?
Literature Circle QuestionsChapter 1,
Fahrenheit 451
1. What is the setting? Did the setting affect what the characters did or didnt do?
2. What passage in the text would you consider the most important? Why? How did
that passage help shape your understanding of the chapters overall message?
3. How did Montag change throughout this chapter? How did his growth help you
understand the chapters message?
4. Who told this story? Montag? Another narrator?
5. Look at the beginning and end sections of this chapter. What did the author do to
make you want to read on?
6. How did the author make the story come alive in your mind (imagery, language,
voice, etc.)?
7. What are some examples of how this author might be using foreshadowing?


Large-Group Assignment: Community Graphic Novel

Collaborative Project with Emily Rice at Panera Bread on a Saturday morning
Reading Focus:
This project was adapted from Paul Janeczkos Episode Blocks organizer activity
(71). This activity helps students see the narrative arc of the story, helping them visualize
the plots rising and falling action (71). My students have trouble identifying narrative arc
and elements of a storys progression. While the students often struggle to even identify the
climax of a story, creating a tangible visual narrative will help them see how the scenes
come together to produce a distinct narrative progression.
Along with noticing plot, this activity helps students see the storys imagery. My
students often tell me: I dont see a movie playing in my head while reading; I dont see
anything happening. Creating an entire graphic novel that illustrates scenes from the book
should help students see the action, characters, and setting. This should help them
understand the story as whole more and help them develop the skill to visualize imagery in
their heads while reading in the future.
Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to identify narrative arc
Students will develop tools for the process of visualizing imagery while reading
Instructional Strategies:
(50 minutes-Tuesday)
Step 1.
Introduce the project and purpose (15 minutes)
Show an example of a graphic novel on the Doc Cam and read a short excerpt.
Ask students how this text offers a different reading experience than a text with
strictly words.
What elements of the graphic novel appeal to you?
o Dialogue
o Visuals
o Color, etc.
So, as a class we are going to create our own graphic novel of
Fahrenheit 451
. Each
of you will be given a section of pages to illustrate. Then, we will compile these
visual scenes to create one graphic novel that each of you will get to take home at
the end of this unit!
This assignment will have two purposes. So, lets keep these goals in mind
throughout the process:
o Students will be able to identify narrative arc
o Students will develop tools for the process of visualizing imagery while
Ok, so here are the logistics.
o You all finished reading the book today. So, in a minute, I will give you your
section assignments.
o You will have one week to create and submit your strips.

o Your strip should range between six and nine panels, each with images and
text (narrative or dialogue).
o You are allowed to use any art supplies of your choosing (charcoal, water
colors, crayons, etc.) or digital graphic tools (clip art, Microsoft paint,
photography, etc.).
o The panels will be scanned into my computer so that I can compile them into
one pdf document and get the book printed.
o After creating your strip, you will then write a one-paragraph reflection on
where their scene falls in the narrative arc of the story and how it relates to
the overall narrative progression.
Show an example of a class community graphic novel from last year (if you have
done this already, of course). Explain that each year, students will create a new
graphic novel for a new book and copies will be housed in our classroom library for
anyones use.
Step 2
. (35 minutes)
Hand out section assignments to students.
Give students 10 minutes to read over the section.
Ask students to complete the Strip Planning Worksheet (see attached). At this point,
walk around and help students with their worksheets. Answer/Ask questions to
encourage thinking.
Once students have completed their worksheets, ask them to write their reflections.
Prompt: Where does your scene fit in the narrative arc of the story? How do you
know this? Use the vocabulary of the narrative arc.
What they dont finish is homework.
(1 and 40 minutes-Thursday)
This is an in-class work day. You have booked the computer lab and keep the classroom
open for paper artists. Jump back and forth between the two rooms to help students stay
on task and answer questions.
(50 minutes-Friday)
Step 1
. Collect finished scene strip, planning worksheets, and reflections from students
(hard copy or electronically). Over the weekend, you will scan these strips into your
computer. Print each strip to prepare for Day 4.
Step 2
. During this class period, we would do a different (un-related) lesson activity.
Day 4
(50 minutes-Monday)
Step 1.
Set-up (5 minutes)
Hand back original strips, printed strips, worksheets, and reflections to respective
students (graded and with comments).
Quickly review narrative arc and vocabulary.
Step 2
. Storyboarding! (45 minutes)
Stand back and let students lay out the graphic novel storyboard on stretch of wall
covered with a giant piece of poster paper. Provide tape for them to use with
disposable printed copies of strips (so they dont ruin their original artwork).

Take a picture of the wall. Use the photo to construct the progression of the graphic
novel narrative in the pdf you will print as a booklet. Let the students take their
original strips home.
Scene Strip Planning Worksheet
Step 1.
Re-read your section of the text.
Step 2.
Map out your plan for each scene of your strip in the panels below (use 6-10 of
them). Directly quote the text or describe the scene in your own words (include page
numbers). Do not draw yet. This is a planning tool to clarify , not a rough draft of the actual


Unit Writing Assignment: Argumentative Essay

What is an argumentative essay?
This is a researched, persuasive essay that asks a certain audience to believe your
argument, consider your argument, or act upon your argument.
You will persuade your audience of fellow peers and your instructor to believe, or at least
to consider, your answer to one of the following three questions:
1. What does
Fahrenheit 451
reveal about the importance of a citizen readership?
2. What argument does Bradbury seem to be making about government power
within a society?
3. How can
Fahrenheit 451
be compared to our contemporary society?
Your audience is the collective American society. So, write your argument to persuade a
vast number of American citizens. Why do they need to believe you or consider your
You will need to demonstrate a deep, thoughtful interpretation of
Fahrenheit 451
and/or Bradburys message by answering one of three the prompt questions.
You will need a clear
thesis statement
that states your argument (your answer to
one of the above questions).
You will need to organize your paper in a logical way, including an introduction, key
reasons, and a conclusion.
You will need to use transitional phrases (ex. However, But, Another).
You will need to include at least
two credible sources
(scholarly, peer-reviewed
articles) in your essay that support your argument and ideas.
You will need to references concrete evidence from
Fahrenheit 451
to support your
You will need to fully explain and analyze your pieces of evidence. You will need to
connect their significance to your thesis statement.
Your essay should be at least
three pages
long, double-spaced, 12 pt. font.
You will be expected to use correct punctuation, particularly commas, colons, and
semi-colons as this was our most recent grammatical study unit.


Writing Assessment Rubric

Depth of

Development of



The author
expresses thorough
and unique critical
thinking. The
author states a
clear thesis that
answers one of the
three prompt

The author
references concrete
examples from both
the novel and 2
credible sources.
The author fully
explains, analyzes,
and connects the

The author has

correctly used
semi-colons, and

The author
expresses critical
thinking, but it
could be more
rigorous and
unique. The author
has a clear thesis
that answers one of
the three prompt
The author
expresses critical
thinking, though it
lacks rigorousness.
The authors thesis
statement is
unclear or does not
answer one of the
prompt questions.

The author
references concrete
examples from both
the novel and 2
credible sources.
The author
somewhat explains,
analyzes, and
connects the
The author includes
some evidence from
the novel and 2
credible sources, but
not enough to
support their claims.
The author does not
fully explain,
analyze, and connect
this evidence.
The author does not
include evidence
from the book and 2
credible sources.
Evidence is not
explained, analyzed,
and connected.

The author has an

introduction, solid
body paragraphs
that each focus on
key supporting
reasons, and a
strong conclusion
that restates the
thesis and reasons.
The author had
provided guiding
The author has an
paragraphs, and a
conclusion. But, the
organization of
ideas and
transitions may be
The author has an
introduction, body
paragraphs, and
although it may not
always be clear.
The author has not
included guiding
The authors paper
is lacking
organization of
ideas and

The authors work

requires serious
revising with a
focus on commas,
semi-colons, and

The authors work

shows a lack of
deep critical
thinking. The
author does not
have a clear thesis
that answers one of
the three prompt

The author has

used commas,
semi-colons, and
colons correctly
for the most part.

The authors
sentences are
confusing and
difficult to
understand due to
a lack of properly
used commas,
semi-colons, and


Step 4. Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion

Table of Contents

Stamina and Fluency

Book Talk
Using Conferences
Inviting Students to Respond
Student Reflections


A. Stamina and Fluency.

Fahrenheit 451
will probably be considered a reach book for many of my
students, one I will especially encourage my students who enjoy contemporary
dystopian literature to reach for. to help students see how they're building stamina
and fluency, I will set up weekly reading rate check-ins, a variation on Penny Kittles
weekly reading rate check-ins (29; 126). On day one, after passing out the books, I
will ask students to begin reading the first chapter. I will give them ten minutes to
read and then count how many pages they were able to read in those ten minutes. A
week from that day, following several lessons pertaining to the book, I will allow
students another ten minutes to read in class and count their pages. Ideally,
students reading rates will have improved in the last week because they have
become more familiar with the authors writing style, the books content, and other
nuances of this particular book. This can also turn into a mini-lesson on how to push
past the initial frustrations of trying to read a new, difficult text (i.e. Just get
through the first ten pages). Although Kittle suggests that students set weekly
reading goals, I will not do this with
Fahrenheit 451
simply because we are reading it
as a whole class and need to all be on the same page. Setting goals to improve
individual stamina and fluency seems better suited to independent reading.
Book Talk.

Fahrenheit 451
is classic story of the individual striving against society and
oppression. It is set in a disturbingly bleakyet, perhaps not so difficult to
imaginefuture world. In this world, people have deeper relationships with their
TV screens than their spouses and children. The main character, Guy Montag, is a
firefighter. Only, his job isnt to put out fires. His job is to set them. In this futuristic
society, books are officially illegal because they make people think and feel in
dangerous and difficult-to-control ways. They evoke emotion and provoke thoughts!
Montags job is to hunt down these books and burn them (and their owners, if need
be). However, with the help of a few characters who are not yet brainwashed by the
society, Montag realizes the power of reading and that books are his societys only
hope of recapturing what it means to be human and have freedom.
Next, I would read the novels first paragraph (Bradbury 1). I think it will give
the students a chance to hear Bradburys writing style verbalized. It should make
them feel a bit more comfortable about approaching the text.


C. Using Conferences.
During this unit on
Fahrenheit 451
, I will meet individually with students to
discuss their understanding of the book. I will leave these conferences pretty
open-ended so that each students conference is different depending on what they
want to talk about. However, student will have had to prepare three possible
project topics that they would be interested in pursuing for their final unit project.
Much of the conference will be spent discussing the students ideas, what they
would like their project to be, and what their next steps are. Thus, in this unit,
conferences will be both a comprehension check-in and a scaffolding discussion to
prepare for the writing/project production process.
Inviting Students to Respond.
Because the entire class is reading this same book, I think a combination of
individual and collective reading response activities would be the most effective
way to engage students. For example, I might ask students to record their responses
to the text in their interactive notebooks in whatever way they feel inclined. Thus,
this is an open-ended, creative space to respond. To prepare students for a specific
discussion, I might assign students to create their own Response to Quotations
chart from an assigned section of text (Kittle 105). Then, students will use their
responses to guide small group discussion.
Student Reflections.
To reflect on their reading process with this book, students will write mini-reviews
of the text. Kittle suggests this as a method for practice in summarizationan
essential writing skilland to generate book talks to share with others (128). I
think these can also be an excellent exercise in connecting our personal reading
experience to the texts content, style, and characters. For example: What did you
like about his book and why? What drove you to keep reading? What caught you up?
What advice do you have for future readers of this text? How did this book help you
develop reading skills for future reading? I might consider posting one ot two of the
mini-reviews within the classroom's Doors to Reading, but I haven't decided if
collecting student reflections on books would be better physically posted around the
room or on a class blog site.


Step 5. Poetry and Other Genres

Table of Contents

Poem Selection: Dover Beach

Before Reading Introduction: Context and Connections
During Reading: ???????
Close Reading: Noticing Mood
After Reading Conclusion: Applying Mood Knowledge
Book Bridge


Poem Selection
Dover Beach by Mathew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the gean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earths shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Before Reading Introduction: Context & Connections

Understanding the context of the poem is important because it helps the reader understand
the poems underlying themes. Also, reflecting on these themes in relation to ones own
experiences prepares students to better understand the poem
Learning Objectives:
Students will understand the historical and personal context of the poem
Students will prepare to tackle the poems themes by reflecting on similar
Instructional Strategy:
Introduce this poem by reading (or creating a PowerPoint of) the following background
Mathew Arnold wrote this poem 1851 while honeymooning with his new wife at a
beach in Dover. Dover is a coastal region of southeastern England, about as close as
England gets to France (show a map). So, we can imagine him sitting in the sand with his
loved one, looking out over the waters of the English Channel, in this area actually called
the Strait of Dover. We can imagine that he can just barely see France from where he sits.
Because Arnold seems to be talking to a certain companion in the poem, we can
assume that this companion is his new wife.
The time period in which this poem was written was a pivotal moment in English
In Arnolds world of the mid1800's, the pillar of faith supporting society
as the evolutionary theory of English physician Erasmus Darwin and
French naturalist JeanBaptiste Lamarck. Consequently, the existence of
God and the whole Christianscheme of things was castin doubt.Arnold,
who was deeply religious, lamented the dying of the light of faith, as
symbolized by the light he seesin Dover Beach on thecoastofFrance,
which gleams one moment and is gone the next. He remainedabeliever
in God and religion, although he was open toand advocatedan
overhaul of traditional religious thinking. In

God and the Bible

, he wrote:
"At the present moment two things about the Christian religion must
surely be clear to anybody witheyesinhishead.One is, that mencannot
do without it the other, that they cannot do with it as it is."(Cummings

So, Arnold is writing about a raw sense of loss, a moment in which he explores how new
realizations and discoveries made within his society have literally shaken the foundation of
that society. In England in the 1800s, that foundation was religion and science threatened
its validity.
Take a few minutes now to think about a time in your life when you felt that your
world has turned upside down. You learned something about life that made you rethink


everything about yourself and your life. Take 5 minutes to write a short reflection in your
interactive notebook.
Ok, lets keep the context of the poem and this theme of unsettling discovery in mind as we
read this poem aloud together . . .


During Reading Strategy: Multiple Voices Read-Aloud

This activity was inspired by our daily read alouds in this class, but also the many
times we read poems aloud as a group. This poem, Dover Beach, should resonate with
power and voice easily in a multiple voices read aloud. The rationale behind this strategy
has many facets:
1. get everyone in the room involved
2. let students hear the impact of the words aloud
3. allow the poems power to resonate vocally
Give everyone in the room a line (or half a line, depending on the class size) to read. Tell
them to read their line alone and practice (mouthing silently) saying it aloud. What voice
inflection will they use? How can they convey the mood of the poem through their voice?
Then, simply instruct the first person to begin and let the poem be read aloud. Afterward,
maybe do it a second time. Immediately after, ask student to reflect on how reading the
poem aloud ifluenecd their interpretation of it and their mood while reading.


Close Reading Strategy: Noticing Mood

In discussing mood in poetry, Paul Janeczko asks: How did your students feel after
reading . . .? Were they moved . . .? . . . Can they point to specific words and phrases in the
poem that contributed to this feeling? (15). Students might react to poetry in certain
emotional ways, but rarely are they able to verbalize these feelings or explain why they felt
them. This is how you get student responses like, I just like it or Its just not my style.
Students need to be encouraged to notice how mood manifests in poetry and what mood
does to the overall meaning of a text.
Dover Beach is the only poem included in
Fahrenheit 451.
It is actually read aloud
by Montag in a pivotal scene of the book, when Montage cracks and releases his frustration
about the shallowness of his society through reading a poem (an illegal activity) to three
terrified women. This results in Montags near arrest and escape from the city. Therefore,
this poem was obviously chosen by Bradbury for a specific purpose. This activity will help
students closely read the poem to detect a mood. This activity will prepare them for the
follow-up after reading strategy in which we analyze how this mood speaks to the books
overall mood and message.
Learning Objectives:
Students will learn how to detect the mood of a piece of poetry
Instructional strategies:
At this time, students will have already read the poem on their own.
Step 1.
Hand out the Mood chart and quickly review the instructions and purpose with
students (see attached). This handout is adapted from Janeczkos mood chart (20).
Step 2.
Now, ask students to individually read the poem and complete the mood chart.


Mood in Dover Beach

In each box on the left, write down an emotion you felt while reading the poem. On
the right, draw some lines branching out from each box. On the lines, write down
some words and phrases from the poem that contributed to that feeling.

Once you have filled in the chart above, turn over this sheet of paper and write a
short narrative reflection that explains your experience noticing mood in the poem.
Be sure to use the same vocabulary and quoted phrases or words from the text.


After Reading Conclusion: Applying Mood Knowledge

As stated in the Close Reading rationale, Dover Beach is the only poem included in
the novel and was surely selected by Bradbury for a purpose. This activity will explore how
the poems mood can highlight a central mood and theme for the novel as a whole. Students
will analyze why Bradbury chose this poem for Montag to read during this pivotal scene
and how poetry in the midst of prose can reveal the larger texts deeper messages.
Learning Objectives:
Students will learn how poetry can be included in prose to highlight a central mood
Students will understand how mood speaks to a texts overall message
Instructional Strategies:
This activity should be done the same day as the Close Reading Mood chart activity.
Step 1.
Mini-lesson on poetry in prose (how the two genres compliment each other)
Step 2.
In a WTL (Write To Learn), ask students to reflect on how noticing mood in the
poem related to noticing mood in the novel.
What feelings are similar in your experience between the two?
What comparisons can you draw between the poem's mood and the novel's mood?
Why did you think Bradbury chose this poem for Montag to read?
How does reading this poem change (or not change) the way you will read the rest
of the book?


Book Bridges
Poems by Mathew Arnold
A Dream.
Poems similar to Dover Beach
Sassoon, Siegfried.
The War Poems

Books with similar themes

Lodbell, William.
Loosing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America
and Found Unexpected Peace
. New York: Harper Collins, 2009.
Lowry, Lois.
The Giver


Step 6. Digital Literacies

Table of Contents
Assignment Sheet
Lesson Plan
Teacher Example
Assessment Tool


A. THE PHOTO ESSAY Assignment Sheet

Due Date: TBA
Possible Points: 100
What is a photo essay?
This is a powerful visual text. It is a series of photographs, accompanied by short
narratives, that conveys a story, argument, or idea.
You will be re-media-ing your unit Argumentative Essay into a new medium, a more
visual and creative text, but one that still carries rhetorical power and purpose. Your
will be your classmates, your instructor, and possibly a wider general public.
To earn the full 100 points, your photo essay should meet the following expectations:
1. The photo essay
the thesis and key points of my argumentative essay.
2. The photo essay includes at least
5 photographs
taken by the author

3. Each photo clearly expresses an artistic intent (a.k.a photos are not fuzzy or
4. For each of the 5 photographs, the author has provided a short
2-3 sentence
. (Note: This is description of the photo, analysis of the photo, and
connection of the photo to the authors thesis.)
5. Each photo carries a caption (in addition to the narrative) that names the place and
date of the photograph content (ex. May 2015, Colorado State University Admissions
6. The photo essay should effectively use
ethos, logos, and pathos
to speak to a
7. The photo essay should be logically organized.
8. The photo essays narratives should incorporate evidence from credible sources
with correct citations. The final page of the photo essay should be a complete Works
Cited page
9. The photo essay should have an interesting, appropriate title.
10. The photo essay should be saved in a Word Document (one page for each photo and
I am exploring other digital options, so you may need to adapt this

format later.
Finally, to receive full credit for this activity, you will be expected to present the photo
essay to our class. This presentation will last no more than 5 minutes. You will show each
photo and read the narratives aloud. No further speaking is necessary. You will do a short Q
& A session, however.
A student sample is available on Canvas in Project 4 docs, Files.
Online Examples:

B. Lesson Plan
Homework Due:
Argumentative Essay is DUE today! Submit on our course web page by 9 am.
Lesson Objectives
Explore Images as Texts with Rhetorical Purpose
Practice Taking Photos
Introduce Photo Essay project expectations
Students will need camera (or phone with cameras)
Doc Cam
Flex Time (5 minutes)
How is everyone?
Images As Texts (20 minutes)
Writing is our focus on this class, right? We hone our rhetorical skills, word choice,
punctuation, and style. This is what you did in the Argumentative Essays you turned in
today about an issue related to dystopian literature and Fahrenheit 451.
But, words arent the only medium that can be used to emotionally, logically, and
ethically to persuade an audience. Images can do this too.
So, today we are going to

look at how images can evoke reader responses and make arguments to prepare us for
the Photo Essay project I told you about at the beginning of the unit.
What is a photo essay? Any ideas?
Essentially, a photo essay is a powerful visual text. It is a series of photographs,
accompanied by short narratives, that conveys a story, argument, or idea.
Look at some examples online.
So, what elements are you noticing in these photo essays?
List ideas on the board,
Should include:
o Captions (date and place)
o Narratives (2-5 sentences)
o The photos are artistic, pretty, varied in content
o An interesting title
o Identifiable purpose and thesis/argument
o Authenticity, honesty, blunt
So, what do we get from photo essays that an argumentative essay doesnt offer?
o Visual sensory detail and context
How do these photo essays use ethos, pathos, and logos?


Practice Taking Photos (20 minutes)

Hand out a Quick Guide to Taking Rhetorically Powerful Photographs (see
Review the handout.
Ask student to leave the classroom and collect 3 random photos that are rhetorically
powerful. Tell them to try to connect them with a common argument, or at least
When students return to the classroom, ask a few students to share their 3-photo
collections and explain their rhetorical value.
Introduce Photo Essay project (5 minutes)
Pull up the Photo Essay Assignment Sheet on the course web page.
Read through the description and expectations.
Review the Teacher Sample Photo Essay available on the course web page.
Read What Makes a Powerful Photograph? from The Guardian.


Quick Guide to Taking Rhetorically Powerful Photographs

You want to take photographs that raise emotion, probe questions and deep thinking. So,
how do you do that?
The Photographer/Writers Basic Toolbox
. Signs or symbols that represent an abstract idea; the symbol means something
on a larger scale.
Example: An image of a tipped-over recycling bin represents a school-wide disregard for
environmental protection.
Shadows and sunlight create mood in a scene/photo.
Example: A photo taken in the late evening of a young man slumped against a wall, cast in
shadow, evokes a plaintive, secretive, melancholy mood.
. Shoot upward, downward, sideways, and straight on. Kneel, lye down, climb a tree.
The angle will present a certain perspective.
Example: Lying on the ground next to bike racks and capturing the forest of tires and
spokes might illustrate the shear volume of bikers on a college campus.
: Color has emotion, too. Seek colors that match the mood your trying to create.
Example: A house painted bright red might express warmth and coziness; a dark red strip
of cloth might convey death (blood).
Emotional Impact
. Tears, smiles, and laughs on your subjects faces evoke emotional
responses in your reader. But remember, they must be candid and authentic.
Example: You capture a small boys shining face mid-shout after he shoot a winning goal
during a neighborhood soccer match.

Word of Wisdom
1. Find interesting subjects.
If a particular subject doesnt enthrall and grip the
photographer with the desire to understand, why would it intrigue a viewer? Find
those things worth shooting
2. Care about your subjects.
Its that old adage: Do what you love. As with all art,
photographers emotions bleed into their photographs, even if they cant be
explained outright. And so, a dispassionate photographer will produce bland
photographsthe kind that just sit there, fading.
Bennett, Rebecca. Stopping Time: How to Create Powerful Photography.
. Picture Correct,
n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.


Teacher Example
The teacher example is in PowerPoint form. I have uploaded it separately to the Writing
Studio folder. The file is named Photo Essay--Citizen Readership.
Assessment Tool: Photo Essay Rubric
The photo essay
conveys a clear
argument (thesis),
either directly or

Rhetorical Power
The author has
expertly employed
ethos, logos, and
pathos to persuade the
audience. The photo
essay is powerful and

The photo essay

implies an
argument (thesis),
but the reader
must work to
discern it.

The author has used

ethos, pathos, and
logos to persuade the
audience. The photo
essay is provoking, but
may lack development
and power.

The photo essay

might have a clear
argument (thesis),
but the reader
struggles to find
it. There may be
un-refuted ideas.
The photo essay
clearly has no
purpose or
argument (thesis).

The author has used

some ethos, logos, and
pathos, but these
elements do not quite
persuade the
audience. The essay is
somewhat provoking,
but not powerful.
The author has not
used enough ethos,
pathos, and logos to
persuade the
audience. The essay
lacks power and

The photos are
provoking and
artistically taken.
The photographer
has considered
light, color,
emotion, angle, and
The photos are
mostly provoking
and artistically
taken. The
photographer has
considered some of
the above elements.
One or two photos
might be fuzzy.
Some of the photos
are provoking and
artistic. Some of the
above elements
have been
considered. Many of
the photos are
Most of the photos
are not interesting.
Most are fuzzy. The
author has not
considered the
above elements.

The photos
have been
organized to
illustrate the
progression of
the argument.
The photos
have been
mostly logically
organized, but
might be
organization of
the photos do
not present a
progression of
The photos are
lacking a logical
progression of