Lesson Plan – Close reading to develop thesis statement
Lesson objective(s): Choose a key passage from Scarry’s argument from On Beauty and Being Just and a scene or image from Triumph of the Will that you think connect in an interesting way. Perform a close reading of your chosen scene/image that uses one or more ideas from Scarry’s argument.
Total estimated time: 45-60 minutes
Additional outcome(s): Students may be able to begin their essay or construct their thesis using their work from this activity. Once students have had time to discuss and reflect on the result have them go back and begin revising in order to come up with a strong thesis statement.
Course work or assignment underway: preparation for third essay
Work and/or reading completed before class: On Beauty and Being Just and Triumph of the Will should be read/watched and discussed already. Low stakes writing on both texts should be practiced already as well. Students must already have a lot of experience with close reading multiple texts for the same goal and both written and visual texts. Students should be very familiar with Mark Gaipa’s ways to “enter into the conversation.”
Sequence of classroom activities: Review the main points from your class discussions on On Beauty and Being Just and Triumph of the Will. This activity might work best if the instructor provides several choices from both the book and film. These options can be discussed in class. Or the instructor could just provide an example. Encourage students to use one of Gaipa’s methods to compare the texts so they recognize this activity as a major step in the writing process for their essay. After completion, have students volunteer to share their close reading for class discussion and point out how these results might be crafted into a single thesis statement as a model for the other students.
Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches: This activity could also be done at home, perhaps after students have already done it in class. As take home work students will have some more time to polish their thoughts and writing. Afterwards, have students volunteer to share their close reading during class for workshopping as usual. With some revision this activity can be done with any texts the class is reading/viewing.
Download: Beauty_Predraft5_Thesis (doc)