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The Editorial

Author: Matthew Tidwell
Editor: Stephanie Nardei


Time: 1-2 Class Periods
Preparation
Time:
Collection of editorials from any local or national paper
Materials: Class copies of at least three editorials


Abstract
This lesson is the first step toward the students writing a muckraking editorial similar to those by Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell. Reading several contemporary editorials and comparing their qualities will engage the students toward this project.

Objectives
The students will be able:

  1. To recognize the similarities between several editorials.
  2. To summarize and outline the arguments presented in several editorials.
  3. To compare and contrast the arguments presented by several editorials on the same topic.
  4. To cluster the similarities found between several editorials.

Standards
Strand 1
Concept 1
PO1: Critique the consistency and clarity of the text’s purpose.
PO2: Compare (and contrast) readings on the same topic, by explaining how authors reach the same or different conclusions based upon differences in evidence, reasoning, assumptions, purposes, beliefs, or biases.

Teacher Background
The teacher will need to collect several editorials in order to conduct this lesson. However, the editorials all need to be on the same topic in order for the students to compare how the authors reach different conclusions. They need to be editorials where the argument(s) and reasoning are laid out clearly. In order to find several editorials on the same topic, the teacher will want to find articles on political matters, either national or local, because of the amount of writing that will be done.

Resource Websites
Links to national newspapers where editorials can be found:
The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com 
The Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com 
The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfchron.com 
The Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com 
The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com

Editorial Resources in General
Editorials in the Classroom http://www.teachwriting.com/editorials.htm
Editorial on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial


Image

 

Activity

  1. The students have previously used a Venn diagram to track the similarities between two items. The students will again use a Venn diagram with this lesson; however, instead of two circles there will be three.
  2. Each editorial should be printed on separate pieces of paper.
  3. Pass out one editorial to the students.
  4. Read through the editorial with the students. Depending on the issue, some background information might need to be given to the students so that they understand the arguments being presented.
  5. As a class, fill out one circle of the Venn diagram. List the main argument and the information that is used to support the argument.
  6. Pass out the next editorial to the students.
  7. Again, read through the editorial and give any background information if needed.
  8. As a class, fill out another circle of the Venn diagram. List the main argument and the information that is used to support the argument.
  9. Where the two circles intersect, list any similarities between the first to editorials. Depending on the topic of the editorials, the similarities may be found in the support of the argument; however the reasoning may be different.
  10. Pass out the last editorial to the students.
  11. Again, read through the editorial and give any background information if needed.
  12. Again, as a class, fill out the last circle of the Venn diagram. List the main argument and the information that is used to support the argument.
  13. Where this circle intersects with the other two, list similarities with that particular editorial.
  14. In the middle, where all three intersect, list similarities between all three.
  15. As a class, discuss the editorials. Be sure to focus on the idea that within three editorials, there can be three differing opinions.

Closure
As a closure to this assignment, have the students write a summary of an editorial of their choice. Writing a summary is a skill that the students should have already learned. Their summaries should include an overview of the argument, the arguments that were made, and the support for these arguments. In addition to the summary, the students should briefly discuss their viewpoints on the presented argument. Do they agree or disagree and why.

Homework
If applicable

Embedded Assessment
The assessment for this lesson will be seen in summary and whether the students can discuss the argument and their own personal viewpoints.

 


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: March 7, 2007
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