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Harnessing "The Power of a Word"

Harnessing "The Power of a Word"

Author: Beth Barsness
  1. Students will analyze a text to identify an author’s argument and how he or she deals with the con (or the argument against the author’s position). 
  2. Students will extend the argument by agreeing or disagreeing with the author.
  3. Students will support their point of view with additional evidence or points.

Students will use Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s “The Power of a Word” to propel and support a personal argument. 

Please note that this essay is on a sensitive subject.  Teachers must gauge whether or not they have established sufficient rapport with students in order to provide a comfortable atmosphere for discussion.  Using this essay later in the year may be more appropriate, or teachers can use any text which is predominantly an argument. 

Length of time needed:  1 class period (50 minutes)

This lesson was written by Greg Jones.

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Lesson Plan

This lesson plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document. If you would like to edit this document for your classroom needs, go to the "Handouts and Materials" section and click on the corresponding link.


Source: Greg Jones

Handouts and Materials

The following files can be downloaded to your computer:

Lesson Plan (Word document)

Expanding the Argument (Word document)


Articles in Exposition

Online collection of some of Pitts's columns

Source: Greg Jones