Common Core Standards: ELA
Standard 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Breakin’ it Down:
It’s CSI for English! Crime novels, thrillers, and detective stories have been a societal obsession for centuries because we love solving puzzles and looking for clues. So, think of this standard as a way to give students a chance to hone their sleuth skills!
The goal is to get students looking for faulty arguments or unsupported claims. You’ll usually stumble across these types of logical problems when authors get too bold with their claims. Have students on the look out for words like: all, completely, definitely, none, without a doubt, and so on.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
Teacher Feature: Ideas for the classroom
HATCHLING: The Art of a Critique
Show students that being a critic (food critic, movie critic, or even toy critic) involves critical reading and writing. After digging into a text and figuring out the author’s main points and evidence, ask students to question everything. Here are some questions you could give them to help them along:
- What convinced you and what didn’t? Explain.
- Where were the claims too big for the evidence?
- Which piece of evidence or example was the strongest? Why?
TAKE FLIGHT: What’s not there?
The funny thing about informational texts is that you have to teach students to look for omissions in addition to having them look at what’s on the page. Have them look for missing counter-claims, and brainstorm a list of questions or perspectives on the topic that were not addressed by the text.
If it’s a political or scientific text, give them the task of figuring out what evidence they could collect or what interviews they could conduct to discredit the author. Let the mud slinging begin!
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
- Teaching The Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne "In Character"
- The Story of an Hour: One Hour Literary Analysis
- Teaching The Tell-Tale Heart: CSI: Under the Floorboards
- Teaching The Tell-Tale Heart: Stuck in Medias Res with You
- Teaching Their Eyes Were Watching God: Anthropology 101
- Teaching Their Eyes Were Watching God: Getting Readers Hooked on Hurston
- Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird: Emmett Till & Tom Robinson
- Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird: Time to Let Mockingbird Fly?
- Teaching Twilight: Midnight Sun: Edward’s Version of Twilight
- Catch-22: Achilles’ Heel: Antiheroes in Catch-22 and the Iliad
- Kaffir Boy: To Ban or Not to Ban?
- Kaffir Boy: Researching the Histories Behind Kaffir Boy
- Kaffir Boy: Personal Narratives About Race
- Teaching King Lear: What Would King James I Think of King Lear?
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Using Music Lyrics to Explore Themes, Imagery, and Symbolism
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare Goes Modern (Understanding the Bard's Influence)
- Teaching Sula: Interview a Character
- Teaching Sula: Write a Review
- Teaching Sula: Guess the Character
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Modern-Day Toms and Hucks
- Teaching The Aeneid: Now About that Ending…
- Teaching Fahrenheit 451: Burn, Baby, Burn: Censorship 101
- Teaching Fahrenheit 451: Internet Censorship
- Teaching Fences: Write an Omitted Scene and a Critical Review
- Teaching Frankenstein: Breaking News: Stormy Weather Puts the Science Back in Fiction
- Teaching Great Expectations: Ups and Downs: Graphing Pip's Tumultuous Life
- Teaching Great Expectations: Somebody, Help Me End This Novel! Create Your Own Ending
- Teaching Great Expectations: Graphic Expectations: Interpreting Dickensian Imagery Through Art
- Teaching Heart of Darkness: Is there Darkness at the Heart of John Powell’s “Rhapsodie Negre”?
- Teaching Heart of Darkness: Orson Welles Did It, and So Can You
- Teaching Of Mice and Men: “To a Mouse”
- Teaching Of Mice and Men: Becoming Slim (or Curley, or Candy, or Lennie, or George, or Crooks, or ...)
- Teaching Othello: Paul Robeson’s Historic Performance of Othello
- Pride and Prejudice: How to Make Anyone (Even Boys) Read Austen Past Page 100
- Teaching The Bluest Eye: Sweet Little Shirley Temple: The Bluest Eye and Hollywood