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.


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