Using Reading and Writing to Develop Critical Thinking Strategies: A Dialectical Tier in Argument Applied to Literary Analysis and Interpretation

This lesson assumes that literary interpretation and analysis is a form of argument and that a thesis is a claim with which others may disagree. The demonstration models a process by which students identify not only evidence within a text or lines of reasoning about a text that support a working thesis but also those that challenge or contradict it. The purpose of the lesson is to help students understand the importance of considering parts of a text that may not fit with the claims they initially want to make about it. The activity discourages cherry-picking evidence to support a thesis; it encourages students to look for ways to make their thesis ideas evolve in response to closer reading and re-reading. The lesson involves a writing carousel, an activity that allows students to work collaboratively and to move around the room as they do so. The carousel has many potential applications beyond this lesson.

Standards: 

Writing Strand 3 (Applications), Concept 5 (Literary Response), PO1;Writing Strand 1 (Process), Concept 1 (Prewriting), PO1

Year: 

2008