Cultural Perspectives: Springboard Unit 2 Grade 10 Unit 2

Cultural Perspectives: Springboard Unit 2 Grade 10 Unit 2
Visual Prompt: Thousands of athletes and spectators from many different countries and cultures
participate in the Olympic Games. What are some ways that participants might show their
individual cultures?
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Unit Overview
If our culture helps to shape our
personal identities, how does our
culture influence the ways we view and
interact with others and the ways in
which we perceive our world? In this
unit, you will examine the role that
culture plays in forming a personal
identity and how that personal identity
can be supported or challenged by
encounters with other cultures through
real or imagined experiences.
You will also consider several issues
that are commonly shared among very
different cultures, and you will analyze
the cultural perspectives represented
by the stories that arise from those
experiences. Finally, you will bring your
study of cultural identities full circle
as you revisit your own perspective on
cultural issues and create a persuasive
text to convince an audience.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Cultural Perspectives
• To construct a narrative that
recounts issues of cultural
Previewing the Unit ................................................................... 90
Images of Cultural Identity ........................................................ 91
Poetry: “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon
• To examine perspectives of
justice across cultures and
over time
Cultural Narrative ...................................................................... 94
Memoir: Excerpt from Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas
• To understand and apply the
elements of argument
Author’s Stylebook Focus: Dialogue ......................................... 98
Autobiography: Excerpt from Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
Author’s Stylebook: Pacing ......................................................103
Essay: “Pick One,” by David Matthews
Author’s Stylebook: Description ..............................................106
Essay: “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?”
by Geeta Kothari
Author’s Stylebook: Syntactical Variety ...................................109
• To recognize the role that
culture plays in defining
ourselves as individuals
• To develop an argument
on an issue for a specific
audience, using an
effective genre
empirical evidence
logical evidence
anecdotal evidence
Elements of a Graphic Novel.....................................................111
Graphic Novel: Excerpt from Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Telling a Story with Poetry .......................................................120
Poetry: “Woman with Kite,” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Poetry: “Grape Sherbet,” by Rita Dove
Literary Terms
Struggling with Identity: Rethinking Persona ..........................124
Memoir: Excerpt from The Hunger of Memory, by Richard
Introducing the Strategy: Socratic Seminar
Changes in Perspective ...........................................................128
Essay: “Thanksgiving, A Personal History,” by Jennifer New
dialogue tags
narrative pacing
Embedded Assessment 1:
Writing a Narrative ................................ 136
Previewing Embedded Assessment 2 and Thinking About
Argument................................................................................. 138
Justice and Culture .................................................................. 140
Editorial: “Time to Assert American Values,” The New York Times
Article: “Rough Justice,” by Alejandro Reyes
Taking a Stand on Justice .........................................................147
Speech: Excerpt from “On Civil Disobedience,”
by Mohandas K. Gandhi
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Taking a Stand on Legal Issues ................................................150
Speech: “On Surrender at Bear Paw Mountain, 1877,”
by Chief Joseph
Speech: “On Women’s Right to Vote,” by Susan B. Anthony
Taking a Stand Against Hunger ................................................153
Proclamation: “Declaration of the Rights of the Child”
Essay: “School’s Out for Summer,” by Anna Quindlen
Taking a Stand on Truth and Responsibility ............................ 160
Speech: “One Word of Truth Outweighs the World,” by Aleksandr
Speech: Excerpt from “Hope, Despair, and Memory,” Nobel
Lecture by Elie Wiesel
Taking a Stand on Remembrance ............................................ 166
Essays: Student Samples
• Clauses (2.6)
• Sentence Types and
Structure (2.7)
• Outlining and Organizing
an Argument (2.14)
Creating an Argument..............................169
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Embedded Assessment 2:
Language & Writer’s
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Previewing the Unit
Predicting, Skimming/
Scanning, Graphic Organizer
Learning Targets
• Preview the big ideas and vocabulary for the unit.
• Identify and analyze the skills and knowledge needed to complete Embedded
Assessment 1 successfully.
Making Connections
In the first part of this unit,
you will be reading nonfiction
narratives by writers who
share aspects of their lives. For
outside reading, you may want
to choose autobiographies or
other narratives by authors of
interest to you. To make your
choice, examine narratives
that reflect your own or other
My Notes
In Unit 1, you learned that all of us have a cultural identity. Writers express
their cultural experiences through multiple narative genres in both fiction and
nonfiction. In this unit, you will further examine cultural influences by reading
narratives expressing elements of culture. You will also look at issues of justice and
how culture influences perceptions of justice. Finally, you will write an argument
about an issue of justice.
Essential Questions
1. How can cultural experiences and perspectives be conveyed through memorable
2. What issues resonate across cultures, and how are arguments developed in
Developing Vocabulary
Unpacking Embedded Assessment 1
Read the following assignment for Embedded Assessment 1:
Your assignment is to write a narrative about an incident, either real or
imagined, that conveys a cultural perspective. Throughout this unit, you have
studied narratives in multiple genres, and you have explored a variety of
cultural perspectives. You will now select the genre you feel is most appropriate
to convey a real or fictional experience that includes one or more elements of
Summarize in your own words what you will need to know for this assessment.
With your class, create a graphic organizer to identify the skills and knowledge
needed to complete the assessment successfully. Strategize how to complete the
assignment. To help you and your classmates complete the graphic organizer,
review the criteria in the Scoring Guide on page 137.
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Predict what you think this unit is about. Use the words or phrases that stood out
to you when you read the Unit Overview and the Key Terms on the Contents page.
Images of Cultural Identity
Learning Targets
• Review narratives as reflections of culture.
• Analyze poetry to identify imagery, structure, and technique.
• Write an original poem reflecting cultural imagery.
Brainstorming, Graphic
Organizer, Think-Pair-Share,
Marking the Text
Before Reading
1. Before continuing your study of narrative genres, review the texts from Unit 1
and write the titles of any that contain a narrative about a cultural experience.
Write the title, genre, and topic of the narrative in the space below.
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My Notes
2. Which other texts include narrative elements, although they are more
expository than narrative in structure and content?
During Reading
3. Writers of fiction and nonfiction use imagery to paint pictures in the reader’s
mind. As you read the poem on the next page, mark the text for images that
Lyon uses to show where and what she is from.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Images of Cultural Identity
Notice the writer’s use of
anaphora—the repetition
of a word or phrase at the
beginning of a line. Lyon
repeats “I am from” (or “I’m
from”) in each stanza. This
repetition creates a pattern
that emphasizes her thematic
idea—her origins and history.
Each use of the phrase “I
am from” reveals something
about her identity.
George Ella Lyon (1949 - ) is the author of award-winning children’s books,
including Catalpa, a book of poetry that won the Appalachian Book of the Year
award, and the novel With a Hammer for My Heart. Lyon is often asked about
her unusual first name. On her website, she explains that she was named after
her uncle George and her aunt Ella.
Where I’m
My Notes
by George Ella Lyon
I am from clothes-pins
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.1
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch Elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
10 I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
carbon tetrachloride: a chemical used for dry cleaning
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5 it tasted like beets.)
15 I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
My Notes
and ten verses I can say myself.
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
20 From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,2
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
25 a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments—
snapped before I budded—
leaf-fall from the family tree.
After Reading
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4. What sensory details does the narrator include to show her family culture?
Sensory details for sight include “long gone limbs,” and “dress box spilling
5. How do the repeated elements of this poem provide structure to the free verse?
How do the stanzas provide structure? Write your ideas here and then share
with a partner or group.
Writing Prompt: Write your own “Where I’m From” poem, emulating the style
of George Ella Lyon. Consider using anaphora to create rhythm. Use an effective
pattern to convey aspects of your culture.
Check Your Understanding
Describe anaphora and its effect as a rhetorical technique. How did you use
anaphora in writing your own poem? What was its effect?
auger: a hand tool used to bore/holes in wood or dirt
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Cultural Narrative
Marking the Text
Learning Targets
• Analyze a narrative and identify key narrative components.
• Identify and analyze aspects of culture presented in literature.
Elements of Narrative
My Notes
You have most likely written several narratives by now in your various courses. As
you recall, writers use the narrative writing mode for personal narrative—in which
the writer shares something from his or her own experience—as well as fictional
narrative, which is a made-up story. Whether fiction or nonfiction, writers use some
common narrative techniques in telling their stories, such as creating a setting, a
sequence of events, a point of view, a theme, and, of course, characters—real or
imagined—who populate the narrative.
The following text is a memoir, which is a type of personal narrative. In her memoir,
Dumas writes about her experience as a newcomer to the United States and how
she and her family adjust to a different culture.
Before Reading
1. All narratives share some key elements. Think about what makes a story
interesting, and then brainstorm at least three things that all stories have in
During Reading
A memoir is an account of
the personal experiences
of the author. It is also an
autobiographical account.
Multiple Meaning Words
Born in Abadan, Iran, writer Firoozeh Dumas spent much of her childhood
living in California. She credits her father—a Fulbright scholar and engineer who attended Texas A&M University—and his fondness for humorous
storytelling with inspiring her to write stories of her own. After the events of
September 11, 2001, friends urged Dumas to publish her stories as a way to
remind readers of the humor and humanity of Middle Eastern cultures.
The word account has different
meanings. As a noun, account
can mean a narrative of events,
which is its use in describing a
memoir as an account. It may
also mean a financial record,
such as a bank account or a
credit card account. As a verb,
account means to give an
explanation, as in this sentence:
“How would you account for the
missing footballs?”
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Literary Terms
2. As you read the text, annotate it and make notes in the My Notes space as you
find important narrative elements. What narrative elements make this memoir a
compelling read?
by Firoozeh Dumas
i n ar s i
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When I was seven, my parents, my fourteen-year-old brother, Farshid, and I moved
from Abadan, Iran, to Whittier, California. Farid, the older of my two brothers, had been
sent to Philadelphia the year before to attend high school. Like most Iranian youths, he
had always dreamed of attending college abroad and, despite my mother’s tears, had left
us to live with my uncle and his American wife. I, too, had been sad at Farid’s departure,
but my sorrow soon faded—not coincidentally, with the receipt of a package from him.
Suddenly, having my brother on a different continent seemed like a small price to pay for
owning a Barbie complete with a carrying case and four outfits, including the rain gear
and mini umbrella.
Our move to Whittier was temporary. My father, Kazem, an engineer with the
National Iranian Oil Company, had been assigned to consult for an American firm
for about two years. Having spent several years in Texas and California as a graduate
student, my father often spoke about America with the eloquence and wonder normally
reserved for a first love. To him, America was a place where anyone, no matter how
humble his background, could become an important person. It was a kind and orderly
nation full of clean bathrooms, a land where traffic laws were obeyed and where whales
jumped through hoops. It was the Promised Land. For me, it was where I could buy
more outfits for Barbie.
We arrived in Whittier shortly after the start of second grade; my father enrolled
me in Leffingwell Elementary School. To facilitate my adjustment, the principal
arranged for us to meet my new teacher, Mrs. Sandberg, a few days before I started
school. Since my mother and I did not speak English, the meeting consisted of a
dialogue between my father and Mrs. Sandberg. My father carefully explained that I had
attended a prestigious kindergarten where all the children were taught English. Eager
to impress Mrs. Sandherg, he asked me to demonstrate my knowledge of the English
language. I stood up straight and proudly recited all that I knew: “White, yellow, orange,
red, purple, blue, green.”
The following Monday, my father drove my mother and me to school. He had
decided that it would be a good idea for my mother to attend school with me for a few
weeks. I could not understand why two people not speaking English would be better
than one, but I was seven, and my opinion didn’t matter much.
If you examine the writer’s
syntax, you will notice her
use of subordinate structures,
such as subordinate clauses
and appositives. The opening
sentence, for example,
contains an introductory
adverbial clause and an
appositive, in which she
includes details related to the
point of the sentence. The
opening complex sentence
is also a periodic sentence,
one in which the main clause
comes last, requiring the
reader to complete the whole
sentence to get the meaning.
Consider the effect of the
writer’s syntactical choices on
the flow, rhythm, and content
of this essay.
My Notes
Writers establish setting
by using the narrative
technique of description,
such as details about
location or a cultural
backdrop to portray a
world where characters
live and interact. How
does the setting for this
memoir contribute to
your understanding of the
Until my first day at Leffingwell Elementary School, I had never thought of my
mother as an embarrassment, but the sight of all the kids in the school staring at us before
the bell rang was enough to make me pretend I didn’t know her. The bell finally rang and
Mrs. Sandberg came and escorted us to class. Fortunately, she had figured out that we
were precisely the kind of people who would need help finding the right classroom.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Cultural Narrative
How does Dumas sequence
her narrative? How does she
use transitions to link events
and signal shifts in time or
From what point of view does
Dumas tell this story?
How would the story change
if it were told from a different
point of view?
How does Dumas create a
sympathetic characterization
of her mother that shows her
culture without being clichéd
or stereotypical?
My mother and I sat in the back while all the children took their assigned seats.
Everyone continued to stare at us. Mrs. Sandberg wrote my name on the board: F-l-RO-O-Z-E-H. Under my name, she wrote “I-R-A-N.” She then pulled down a map of the
world and said something to my mom. My mom looked at me and asked me what she
had said. I told her that the teachers probably wanted her to find Iran on the map.
The problem was that my mother, like most women of her generation, had been
only briefly educated. In her era, a girl’s sole purpose in life was to find a husband.
Having an education ranked far below more desirable attributes such as the ability to
serve tea or prepare baklava. Before her marriage, my mother, Nazireh, had dreamed
of becoming a midwife. Her father, a fairly progressive man, had even refused the two
earlier suitors who had come for her so that his daughter could pursue her dream. My
mother planned to obtain her diploma, then go to Tabriz to learn midwifery from a
teacher whom my grandfather knew. Sadly, the teacher died unexpectedly, and my
mother’s dreams had to be buried as well.
Bachelor No. 3 was my father. Like the other suitors, he had never spoken to my
mother, but one of his cousins knew someone who knew my mother’s sister, so that was
enough. More important, my mother fit my father’s physical requirements for a wife.
Like most Iranians, my father preferred a fair-skinned woman with straight, lightcolored hair. Having spent a year in America as a Fulbright scholar, he had returned
with a photo of a woman he found attractive and asked his older sister, Sedigeh, to
find someone who resembled her. Sedigeh had asked around, and that is how at age
seventeen my mother officially gave up her dreams, married my father, and had a child
by the end of the year.
As the students continued staring at us, Mrs. Sandberg gestured to my mother to
come up to the board. My mother reluctantly obeyed. I cringed. Mrs. Sandberg, using
a combination of hand gestures, started pointing to the map and saying, “Iran? Iran?
Iran?” Clearly, Mrs. Sandberg had planned on incorporating us into the day’s lesson. I
only wished she had told us that earlier so we could have stayed home.
After a few awkward attempts by my mother to find Iran on the map, Mrs.
Sandberg finally understood that it wasn’t my mother’s lack of English that was causing
a problem, but rather her lack of world geography. Smiling graciously, she pointed my
mother back to her seat. Mrs. Sandberg then showed everyone, including my mother
and me, where Iran was on the map. My mother nodded her head, acting as if she had
known the location all along but had preferred to keep it a secret. Now all the students
stared at us, not just because I had come to school with my mother, not because we
couldn’t speak their language, but because we were stupid. I was especially mad at
my mother, because she had negated the positive impression I had made previously
by reciting the color wheel. I decided that starting the next day, she would have to
stay home.
The bell finally rang and it was time for us to leave. Leffingwell Elementary was just
a few blocks from our house and my father, grossly underestimating our ability to get
lost, had assumed that my mother and I would be able to find our way home. She and
I wandered aimlessly, perhaps hoping for a shooting star or a talking animal to help
guide us back. None of the streets or houses looked familiar. As we stood pondering
our predicament, an enthusiastic young girl came leaping out of her house and said
something. Unable to understand her, we did what we had done all day: we smiled.
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My Notes
The girl’s mother joined us, then gestured for us to follow her inside. I assumed that
the girl, who appeared to be the same age as I, was a student at Leffingwell Elementary;
having us inside her house was probably akin to having the circus make a personal visit.
Her mother handed us a telephone, and my mother, who had, thankfully,
memorized my father’s work number, called him and explained our situation. My father
then spoke to the American woman and gave her our address. This kind stranger agreed
to take us back to our house.
What is the theme or
controlling idea of this
Perhaps fearing that we might show up at their doorstep again, the woman and her
daughter walked us all the way to our front porch and even helped my mother unlock
the unfamiliar door. Alter making one last futile attempt at communication, they waved
good-bye. Unable to thank them in words, we smiled even more broadly.
A stereotype is an overly
simple and often inaccurate
belief about a group of
people. Stereotypical is an
adjective that might be used
to describe a character.
After spending an entire day in America, surrounded by Americans, I realized that
my father’s description of America had been correct. The bathrooms were clean and the
people were very, very kind.
My Notes
After Reading
3. Use this graphic organizer to record specific details from the text for each of the
narrative elements.
Narrative Elements
Details from the Narrative
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Point of View
Sequence of Events
Foreign Words
Check Your Understanding
Timed Writing: In this excerpt from the memoir, Firoozeh Dumas chooses specific
incidents to make a point about American culture. What point does she make, and
how do the incidents she chooses to include make that point?
Originally from French, the
word clichéd has become part
of our English vocabulary.
Something that is clichéd
is overused or without any
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Dialogue
Marking the Text, Paraphrasing,
Graphic Organizer
My Notes
Learning Targets
• Analyze the narrative technique of dialogue.
• Write a narrative using direct and indirect dialogue.
Authors use a variety of techniques to create narratives that make their stories
come alive on the page. Authors use dialogue to provide the reader with
information about a character, to provide background information, and to advance
the plot. You may have noticed that the previous narrative contained almost no
dialogue, which served to emphasize the confusion and embarrassment, as well
as the humor, of the situation. Three techniques you will examine in this unit for a
stylebook focus are dialogue, pacing, and description.
Dialogue may be either direct or indirect. Indirect dialogue is a paraphrase of what
is said by a character or narrator. This dialogue does not need quotation marks.
Example: When my mother began dropping hints that I would soon be going to
school, I vowed never to go to school because it was a waste of time.
Direct dialogue is the exact words spoken by a person. This dialogue uses
quotation marks and dialogue tags.
Example: “This time next fall, you will be in school,” hinted my mother.
“Why would I go to school? You’ll never see me wasting my time at
school!” I vowed.
Dialogue tags are the phrases
that attribute the quotation to
the speaker; for example, she
said or he bellowed.
Before Reading
1. Take a moment and think about a person you know who tells great stories.
What is it about their storytelling that makes it so good? One thing that they
probably do is change the way that they say things as they tell the story. With
a partner, quickly generate a list of dialogue tags other than “said” that good
storytellers use.
During Reading
2. As you read the story for the elements of a narrative, also annotate the story,
noting the impact of the dialogue and dialogue tags on the story and the
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Literary Terms
Mark Mathabane (1960–) was born in South Africa just outside Johannesburg.
He spent his childhood in an unheated shack with no electricity and no running
water. Mathabane and his family lived in fear of the police who enforced the
law of apartheid—sometimes violently. In 1978, Mathabane secured a tennis
scholarship to a college in South Carolina. He later graduated from Dowling
College in New York. During his writing career, Mathabane has produce several
works of nonfiction as well as three recent novels. Kaffir Boy is Mathabane’s
story of his childhood living under apartheid.
My Notes
Kaff ir Boy
by Mark Mathabane
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
When my mother began dropping hints that I would soon be going to school, I
vowed never to go because school was a waste of time. She laughed and said, “We’ll see.
You don’t know what you’re talking about.” My philosophy on school was that of a gang
of ten-eleven-and twelve-year-olds whom I so revered that their every word seemed
that of an oracle.
These boys had long left their homes and were now living in various neighborhood
junkyards, making it on their own. They slept in abandoned cars, smoked glue and
benzene, ate pilchards and brown bread, sneaked into the white world to caddy
and, if unsuccessful, came back to the township to steal beer and soda bottles from
shebeens, or goods from the Indian traders on First Avenue. Their lifestyle was exciting,
adventurous and full of surprises; and I was attracted to it. My mother told me that
they were no-gooders, that they would amount to nothing, that I should not associate
with them, but I paid no heed. What does she know? I used to tell myself. One thing
she did not know was that the gang’s way of life had captivated me wholly, particularly
their philosophy on school: they hated it and considered an education a waste of time.
They, like myself, had grown up in an environment where the value of an education
was never emphasized, where the first thing a child learned was not how to read and write
and spell, but how to fight and steal and rebel; where the money to send children to school
was grossly lacking, for survival was first priority. I kept my membership in the gang,
knowing that for as long as I was under its influence, I would never go to school.
One day my mother woke me up at four in the morning.
“Are they here? I didn’t hear any noises,” I asked in the usual way.
“No,” my mother said. “I want you to get into that washtub over there.”
The author uses dialogue
to create the relationship
between the mother and
son. What details in the
story illustrate the culture
of family and mother-son
“What!” I balked, upon hearing the word washtub. I feared taking baths like one
feared the plague. Throughout seven years of hectic living the number of baths I had
taken could be counted on one hand with several fingers missing. I simply had no
natural inclination for water; cleanliness was a trait I still had to acquire. Besides, we
had only one bathtub in the house, and it constantly sprung a leak.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Dialogue
Punctuating Quotations
Use quotation marks to
enclose direct dialogue from
characters or the narrator.
Note that punctuation marks
are generally placed inside
the quotation marks. For
“Are you ready?” Granny
asked my mother.
My Notes
“I said get into that tub!” My mother shook her finger in my face.
Reluctantly, I obeyed, yet wondered why all of a sudden I had to take a bath. My
mother, armed with a scropbrush and a piece if Lifebouy soap, purged me of years and
years of grime till I ached and bled. As I howled, feeling pain shoot through my limbs
as the thistles of the brush encountered stubborn callouses, there was a loud knock at
the door.
Instantly my mother leaped away from the tub and headed, on tiptoe, toward the
bedroom. Fear seized me as I, too, thought of the police. I sat frozen in the bathtub, not
knowing what to do.
“Open up, Mujaji [my mother’s maiden name],” Granny’s voice came shrilling
through the door. “It’s me.”
My mother heaved a sigh of relief; her tense limbs relaxed. She turned and headed
to the kitchen door, unlatched it and in came Granny and Aunt Bushy.
“You scared me half to death,” my mother said to Granny. “I had forgotten all about
your coming.”
“Are you ready?” Granny asked my mother.
“Yes—just about,” my mother said, beckoning me to get out of the washtub.
What is the effect of dialogue
on this story? Is it used to
speed up or to slow down the
pacing? How does it convey
the action of this scene?
She handed me a piece of cloth to dry myself. As I dried myself, questions raced
through my mind: What’s going on? What’s Granny doing at our house this ungodly
hour of the morning? And why did she ask my mother, “Are you ready?” While I stood
debating, my mother went into the bedroom and came out with a stained white shirt
and a pair of faded black shorts.
“Here,” she said, handing me the togs, “put these on.”
“Put them on I said!”
I put the shirt on; it was grossly loose-fitting. It reached all the way down to my
ankles. Then I saw the reason why: it was my father’s shirt!
“But this is Papa’s shirt,” I complained. “It don’t fit me.”
“Put it on,” my mother insisted. “I’ll make it fit.”
“The pants don’t fit me either,” I said. “Whose are they anyway?”
“Put them on,” my mother said. “I’ll make them fit.”
Moments later I had the garments on; I looked ridiculous. My mother started
working on the pants and shirt to make them fit. She folded the short in so many
intricate ways and stashed it inside the pants, they too having been folded several times
at the waist. She then chocked the pants at the waist with a piece of sisal rope to hold
them up. She then lavishly smeared my face, arms and legs with a mixture of pig’s fat
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“Why?” I asked.
and Vaseline. “This will insulate you from the cold,” she said. My skin gleamed like the
morning star and I felt as hot as the centre of the sun and smelled God knows like what.
After embalming me, she headed to the bedroom.
My Notes
“Where are we going, Gran’ma?” I said, hoping that she would tell me what my
mother refused to tell me. I still had no idea I was about to be taken to school.
“Didn’t your mother tell you?” Granny said with a smile. “You’re going to start
“What!” I gasped, leaping from the chair where I was sitting as if it were made of
hot lead. “I am not going to school!” I blurted out and raced toward the kitchen door.
My mother had just reappeared from the bedroom and guessing what I was up to,
she yelled, “Someone get the door!”
Aunt Bushy immediately barred the door. I turned and headed for the window.
As I leaped for the windowsill, my mother lunged at me and brought me down. I
tussled, “Let go of me! I don’t want to go to school! Let me go!” but my mother held fast
onto me.
“It’s no use now,” she said, grinning triumphantly as she pinned me down. Turning
her head in Granny’s direction, she shouted, “Granny! Get a rope quickly!”
Granny grabbed a piece of rope nearby and came to my mother’s aid. I bit and
clawed every hand that grabbed me, and howled protestations against going to school;
however, I was no match for the two determined matriarchs.1 In a jiffy they had me
bound, hand and feet.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
“What’s the matter with him?” Granny, bewildered, asked my mother. “Why did he
suddenly turn into an imp when I told him you’re taking him to school?”
“You shouldn’t have told him that he’s being taken to school,” my mother said. “He
doesn’t want to go there. That’s why I requested you come today, to help me take him
there. Those boys in the streets have been a bad influence on him.”
In this short passage,
the scene comes to life.
Describe how the author
uses active verbs to
develop his characters.
As the two matriarchs hauled me through the door, they told Aunt Bushy not to go
to school but stay behind and mind the house and the children.
After Reading
3. Using details from the narratives that you have read so far, add to your thinking
about the Essential Question, “How can cultural experiences and perspectives
be conveyed through memorable narratives?”
matriarch: a woman who rules or dominates a family, group, or state
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Dialogue
4. Look back through the text you just read and find examples of direct and
indirect dialogue. List and label them in the chart that follows. Practice the
two methods of writing dialogue by paraphrasing the examples of direct
dialogue and rewriting indirect dialogue as direct dialogue, being sure to
punctuate it correctly.
When my mother began dropping
hints that I would soon be going
to school, I vowed never to go to
school because it was a waste of
Practice Writing Dialogue
“This time next fall, you will be in
school,” hinted my mother.
“Why would I go to school? You’ll
never see me wasting my time at
school!” I vowed.
Check Your Understanding
Narrative Writing Prompt: Using the excerpt from Kaffir Boy as inspiration, write
a narrative that illustrates a scene from your childhood. Be sure to:
• Portray the culture of family in your narrative.
• Provide a well-structured sequence of events.
• Include both direct and indirect dialogue.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
My Notes
Author’s Stylebook: Pacing
Learning Targets
• Analyze the narrative elements writers use to create a sense of pacing in
a narrative.
• Apply pacing to my own writing.
Free Writing, Think-PairShare, Mark the Text,
Before Reading
Narrative pacing is an important part of telling a good story. A writer controls
the rhythm of a narrative with specific choices in sentence length, word choice,
and details. For example, a series of short sentences can heighten suspense and
increase the pace, while a series of long sentences may slow the pace.
1. Free writing: Think about an event in your life that you might describe using
either fast or slow pacing. Write about the incident. With a partner, share your
free write and discuss the pacing you used in your description.
My Notes
During Reading
Literary Terms
2. As you read the following essay, mark the text and write notes about where the
pacing or rhythm of the narrative changes and how these changes in pacing
affect you as a reader.
Narrative pacing refers
to the speed at which
a narrative moves. A
writer slows pacing with
more details and longer
sentences. Fewer details
and shorter sentences
have the effect of
increasing the pace.
Pick One
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
by David Matthews
The New York Times
In 1977, when I was nine, my father and I moved away from the protected
Maryland suburbs of Washington—and away from his latest wife, my latest
stepmother—to my grandmother’s apartment in inner-city Baltimore. I had never seen
so many houses connected to one another, block after block, nor so many people on
streets, marble stoops and corners. Many of those people, I could not help noticing,
were black. I had never seen so many black people in all my life.
I was black, too, though I didn’t look it; and I was white, though I wasn’t quite. My
mother, a woman I’d never really met, was white and Jewish, and my father was a black
man who, though outwardly hued like weak coffee, was—as I grew to learn—stridently
black nationalist in his views and counted Malcolm X and James Baldwin among his
friends. I was neither blessed nor cursed, depending on how you looked at it, with skin
milky enough to classify me as white or swarthy enough to render me black. But before
moving from our integrated and idyllic neighborhood, I really knew nothing of “race.”
I was pretty much just a kid, my full-time gig. And though I was used to some measure
of instability—various apartments, sundry stepmothers and girlfriends—I had always
gone to the same redbrick single-level school. Nothing prepared me for walking into
that public-school classroom, already three weeks into fourth grade. I had never felt so
utterly on my own.
Use a semicolon to join
independent clauses
when the second clause
restates the first or when
the two clauses are of equal
emphasis. For example:
• I was black, too, though
I didn’t look it; and I was
white, though I wasn’t
• I didn’t contemplate
the segregation; it was
simply part of the new
physical geography, and
I was no explorer; I was
a weak-kneed outsider, a
yellowed freak.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Pacing
Use a dash to set off or
emphasize the content
enclosed within dashes or
the content that follows a
dash. Dashes places more
emphasis on this content than
parentheses. Example:
Mrs. Eberhard, my new homeroom teacher, made an introduction of sorts, and
every student turned around to study me. The black kids, who made up more than
80 percent of the school’s population, ranged in shades from butterscotch to Belgian
chocolate, but none had my sallow complexion, nor my fine, limp hair. And the white
kids, a salting of red and alabaster faces, had noses that were tapered and blunted, free
of the slightly equine flare of my own, and lips that unobtrusively parted their mouths,
in contrast to the thickened slabs I sucked between my teeth.
In the hallway, on the way to class, black and white kids alike herded around me.
Then the question came: “What are you?”
The choice was both
necessary and impossible:
identify myself or have it
done for me. I froze, and said
nothing—for the time being.
I was stumped. No one had ever asked what I was before. It came buzzing at me
again, like a hornet shaken from its hive. The kids surrounded me, pressing me into a
wall of lockers. What are you? Hey, he won’t answer us. Look at me. What are you? He’s
black. He looks white! No way, he’s too dark. Maybe he’s Chinese!
They were rigidly partisan. The only thing that unified them was their
inquisitiveness. And I had a hunch, based on their avidity,1 that the question had a
wrong answer. There was black or white. Pick one. Nowhere in their ringing questions
was the elastic clause, mixed. The choice was both necessary and impossible: identify
myself or have it done for me. I froze, and said nothing—for the time being.
Although this text is an essay,
the author uses narrative
elements. How does the
author incorporate narrative,
and how is this narrative
element important to the
author’s purpose?
My Notes
At lunchtime that first day, teetering on the edge of the cafeteria, my eyes scanned
the room and saw an island of white kids in a sea of black faces. I didn’t contemplate the
segregation; it was simply part of the new physical geography, and I was no explorer; I
was a weak-kneed outsider, a yellowed freak.
In some way I wasn’t fully aware of, urban black people scared me. I didn’t know
how to play the dozens or do double Dutch. I didn’t know the one about how your
mama’s so dumb she failed her pap test. I didn’t know that with the wrong intonation,
or the wrong addressee, any mention of one’s mama could lead to a table-clearing brawl.
The black kids at school carried a loose, effortless charge that crackled through their
interactions. They were alive and cool. The only experience I had with cool had been
vicarious, watching my father and his bebop-era revolutionary friends, and feeling their
vague sense of disappointment when I couldn’t mimic their behavior. The black kids
reminded me of home, but the white kids reminded me of myself, the me I saw staring
back in the mirror. On that day, I came to believe that if I had said I was black, I would
have had to spend the rest of my life convincing my own people.
Lunch tray in hand, I made a final and (at least I like to tell myself) psychologically
logical choice, one I would live with, and wrestle with, for a full decade to come: I
headed toward the kids who looked most like me. Goofy bell-bottoms and matching
Garanimals? Check. Seventies mop-top? Check. Then a ruddy boy with blond bangs
lopped off at the eyebrows looked up from his Fantastic Four comic book, caught my
eye across the cafeteria, scooched over in his seat and nodded me over.
That was it. By the code of the cafeteria table, which was just as binding in that time
and place as the laws of Jim Crow or Soweto, I was white.
avidity: extreme eagerness or enthusiasm
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© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
After Reading
3. After reading and annotating the essay, discuss your notes with a partner.
Did you mark the same spots in the texts? Did you have the same reactions
to the text?
4. With a partner, reread the narrative looking for an example of each of the
following sentence types.
Sentence Variety
A variety of sentence types
gives prose a natural rhythm.
Examine the variety of
sentence structures in this
Simple (one
independent clause)
Complex Sentence: “I was
neither blessed nor cursed,
depending on how you
looked at it, with skin milky
enough to classify me as
white or swarthy enough to
render me black.”
Compound (two or
more independent
Simple Sentence: “I had
never felt so utterly on my
Complex (one
independent and at
least one dependent
Compound Sentence:
“Mrs. Eberhard, my new
homeroom teacher, made
an introduction of sorts, and
every student turned around
to study me.”
(two or more
independent clauses
and at least one
dependent clause)
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Narrative Writing Prompt: Write a narrative about a time when you made an
important decision about yourself. Vary the pacing in your narrative by working in
simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. Be sure to:
• Use descriptive details to help the reader understand your story.
• Provide a smooth progression of experiences or events, using transitions to
move through the story.
• Vary the pacing through the use of details and sentence types and lengths
Check Your Understanding
After completing your narrative, work with a partner and share your stories. Identify
the change in pacing and the sentence types each of you used in your stories.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Description
Think-Pair-Share, Marking the
Text, Rereading
Use a colon after an
independent clause when
it is followed by a list, a
quotation, an appositive or
other idea directly related to
the independent clause.
I want to eat what the kids at
school eat: bologna, hot dogs,
salami—foods my parents
find repugnant because
they contain pork and meat
by-products, crushed bone
and hair glued together by
chemicals and fat.
My Notes
Learning Targets
• Identify and evaluate the use of sensory details and figurative language.
• Compose a description of a culturally relevant artifact from my life, using vivid
language and telling details.
Description creates the world within which a narrative lives. Writers use sensory
details and figurative language to craft the people, places, and things in a narrative
piece of writing. These details allow a reader to see the story and to interact with
the real or imagined world of the narrative.
Before Reading
1. How does the food that you and your family eat reflect your culture and
heritage? Are there things that show up every holiday or items that you turn
to for comfort? What do these foods reveal about you and your culture? In a
quickwrite, share how your culture is reflected in food or an activity.
During Reading
2. In the following excerpt from “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?” author
Geeta Kothari creates an image of a can of tuna with vivid language and telling
details. As you read the passage for sensory details, highlight the descriptions
that speak to your senses.
If You Are What You E at,
Then What Am I ?
by Geeta Kothari
“To belong is to understand the tacit codes of the people you live with.”—Michael
The first time my mother and I open a can of tuna, I am nine years old. We stand
in the doorway of the kitchen, in semi-darkness, the can tilted toward daylight. I want
to eat what the kids at school eat: bologna, hot dogs, salami—foods my parents find
repugnant because they contain pork and meat by-products, crushed bone and hair
glued together by chemicals and fat. Although she has never been able to tolerate the
smell of fish, my mother buys the tuna, hoping to satisfy my longing for American food.
Indians, of course, do not eat such things.
The tuna smells fishy, which surprises me because I can’t remember anyone’s tuna
sandwich actually smelling like fish. And the tuna in those sandwiches doesn’t look like
this, pink and shiny, like an internal organ. In fact, this looks similar to the bad foods
my mother doesn’t want me to eat. She is silent, holding her face away from the can
while peering into it like a half-blind bird.
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© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
“What’s wrong with it?” I ask.
She has no idea. My mother does not know that the tuna everyone else’s mothers
made for them was tuna salad.
My Notes
“Do you think it’s botulism?”
I have never seen botulism, but I have read about it, just as I have read about but
never eaten steak and kidney pie.
There is so much my parents don’t know. They are not like other parents, and they
disappoint me and my sister. They are supposed to help us negotiate the world outside,
teach us the signs, the clues to proper behavior: what to eat and how to eat it.
We have expectations, and my parents fail to meet them, especially my
mother, who works full time. I don’t understand what it means, to have a
mother who works outside and inside the home; I notice only the ways in
which she disappoints me. She doesn’t show up for school plays.
She doesn’t make chocolate-frosted cupcakes for my class. At
night, if I want her attention, I have to sit in the kitchen and
talk to her while she cooks the evening meal, attentive to every
third or fourth word I say.
We throw the tuna away. This time my mother is
disappointed. I go to school with tuna eaters. I see their
sandwiches, yet cannot explain the discrepancy between them
and the stinking, oily fish in my mother’s hand. We do not
understand so many things, my mother and I.
After Reading
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
3. What sense of pacing do you get when you read this essay? Give some
examples for your response.
The author uses sensory
details throughout this
essay. Underline or
highlight five words or
phrases that refer to one
of the five senses. Make
a list of more positive
synonyms you could use
for these words or phrases.
In what ways would your
substitutions change the
impressions Kothari’s
description makes?
4. How does this writer share elements of her culture through her descriptive
details? Give examples.
Writing Prompt: In the passage, a simple can of tuna becomes a stinking glob
that represents a barrier between cultures. Write a description of an artifact that
represents an aspect of your culture. Be sure to:
• Use vivid language and telling details to create images in the reader’s mind.
• Consider the pacing of your description.
• Vary sentences and punctuation for effect
An artifact is an object made
by a person, typically an
item of cultural or historical
interest. You might also see
this word in historical writing
and scientific areas such as
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Description
Language and Writer’s Craft: Clauses
Clauses add variety to writing as well as help to convey meaning. Writers use a
variety of clauses to enhance their writing. Reread the essay and find where the
author uses the following clauses. How do these clauses affect the narrative?
Type of Clause
Example from the
Adverbial clauses
(after, as far as,
before, even though,
if, no matter how,
that, while, where)
describe a verb in
the sentence’s main
clause. An adverbial
clause answers
questions such as
“when?”, “why?”,
“how?” or “to what
Example: At night, if
I want her attention, I
have to sit in the kitchen
and talk to her while she
cooks the evening meal,
attentive to every third
or fourth word I say.
Noun clauses perform
the same functions in
a sentence as nouns.
A noun clause answers
such questions as
“who?”, “whom?”
or “what?”
Example: I don’t
understand what it
means, to have a mother
who works outside and
inside the home; I notice
only the ways in which
she disappoints me.
Adjectival clauses
(that, which, who,
whom, whose)
describe a noun in
the sentence’s main
clause. An adjectival
clause answers
questions such as
“which one?” or
“what kind?”
Example: I don’t
understand what it
means, to have a mother
who works outside and
inside the home; I notice
only the ways in which
she disappoints me.
Impact on the
Check Your Understanding
Reread the description of your artifact and find one place where a clause could
enhance your writing. Revise your description with an adverbial, noun, or
adjectival clause.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
My Notes
Author’s Stylebook: Syntactical Variety
Learning Targets
Language and Writer’s Craft: Sentence Types and Structure
In previous activities, you examined how phrases and clauses help to vary syntax
and enhance an author’s style. A variety of structures gives prose a natural rhythm.
For each sentence type, write an example in the space below.
(one independent
(two or more
independent clauses)
(one independent
clause and at least one
dependent clause)
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
(two or more
independent clauses
and at least one
dependent clause)
• Examine and analyze types of sentence structures.
• Revise writing to incorporate syntactical variety
Sentence Type
My Notes
The subject of the human memory is a
fascinating one. (from SAT Student Essay 2)
They say that history repeats itself, and it
is absolutely true. (from SAT Student Essay 2)
When the ad council convened focus groups
not long ago to help prepare a series of public
service announcements on child hunger, there
was a fairly unanimous response from the
participants about the subject. (from
While I like going to the movies, I do not enjoy
crime films; I prefer to watch interesting films
1. Go back to the texts you have read so far, and try to find examples of each type
of sentence. Write the examples in the My Notes space.
2. Read the sentences around the examples you found. How does the writer vary
his or her sentence types?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Author’s Stylebook: Syntactical Variety
Varying Sentence Beginnings
3. Sentences need not always begin with the subject. Beginning with other
structures not only provides variety and interest, but can also give emphasis
to an important detail or point. With a partner, review the three examples of
sentence beginnings and find examples of each in the texts from the unit.
Beginning with a word
Stunned, Gretchen burst
into tears.
Beginning with a
Unable to believe her
eyes, Gretchen burst into
Beginning with a
Because she was not
expecting a surprise
party, Gretchen burst
into tears.
Example from
Revision Writing Prompt: Writers who use varied syntax effectively incorporate
multiple sentence types in their writing. Select one piece of writing you have
completed in this unit to revise for syntactical variety. Be sure to:
• Use at least three different types of sentences.
• Incorporate a variety of sentence beginnings, including beginning with a word,
beginning with a phrase, and beginning with a clause.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
My Notes
Elements of a Graphic Novel
Learning Targets
• Examine the narrative elements of a graphic novel.
• Relate aspects of cultural perspective to literature.
• Create a graphic panel with dialogue.
Graphic Organizer,
Summarizing, Rereading
Before Reading
1. All narratives share key narrative elements: setting, character, point of view,
sequence of events, and theme. How do you think a graphic novel tells a story
through those elements?
During Reading
2. As you read a chapter from Persepolis, complete the chart below with details of
the key narrative elements of the story. Also generate a list of the characteristics
of a graphic novel that the author uses to create the narrative.
Narrative Elements
Details from the Narrative
Characteristics of the Graphic Novel
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Point of View
Sequence of Events
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Elements of a Graphic Novel
My Notes
Graphic Novel
by Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi grew up in Tehran, Iran. As a child, she observed the
increasing loss of civil liberties in her country. At the age of 14, her parents
sent her to Austria to escape the turmoil in Iran. After returning to Iran for
a brief period as an adult, Satrapi moved to France, where she works as an
illustrator and author of children’s books.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
How does a child’s point of
view or perspective mirror the
reader’s challenge with the
story of the Iranian revolution?
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
A plot is the sequence of
related events that make
up a story or novel. A subplot is a secondary plot
within a story. Sub-plots
may provide background
information or characters to
help the reader understand
the plot. Identify the plot
and the sub-plot in this
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Elements of a Graphic Novel
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Why is the grandmother
trying to give background
information about the Shah
before she answers her
granddaughter’s questions
about why her grandfather is
in prison?
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
How does the author
provide background
knowledge about Iranian
politics and the setting in
the narrative?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Elements of a Graphic Novel
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
What is the effect of this page
of illustrations?
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
What mistake do the
demonstrators make about
the corpse? Why is this
How do the events of the
narrative influence the
narrator’s perspective on
her world?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Elements of a Graphic Novel
My Notes
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
What conclusion did the
narrator come to about
the apparent humor of the
situation described by the
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
After Reading
My Notes
Look closely at the way dialogue is displayed in the graphic novel. For example:
• There are no quotation marks around dialogue.
• The dialogue balloons connect to or are near the character’s body to indicate
who is speaking.
• Dialogue balloons are read from left to right and from top to bottom. This
pattern makes the order of speakers clear.
• To distinguish narration from dialogue, narration is located along the top of a
panel, not in a balloon.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
3. How would the story of Persepolis be different if it were a prose piece? Create a
Venn diagram to compare and contrast the effect of telling this story in a graphic
novel form and in prose.
Writing Prompt: Take the narrative that you wrote for Activity 2.5 and create a
series of panel drawings that include dialogue. Be sure to:
• Include narrative elements of setting, character, point of view, sequence of
events, and theme throughout the graphic panel.
• Use dialogue balloons and narrator blocks effectively.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Telling a Story with Poetry
TP-CASTT, Marking the Text,
Close Reading, Drafting,
Sharing and Responding
Learning Targets
• Analyze a poem for the author’s use of details, diction, and imagery to convey a
cultural perspective.
• Write an original poem.
Before Reading
My Notes
1. In this activity, you will read two narrative poems and then compare how each
writer uses narrative elements. How do you expect the narrative elements and
techniques you have studied in the prose texts to be the same or different in
During Reading
2. As you read the following poems, look for cultural references and perspectives.
Make connections to the memoirs and short story you have read.
Rita Dove (1952–) was born in Akron, Ohio. She is a gifted poet and writer who
has won numerous prestigious awards. In 1976, she won the Pulitzer Prize
for Poetry for her collection of poems Thomas and Beulah, which are roughly
based on her grandparents’ lives. Ms. Dove has served as the nation’s Poet
Laureate, read her poetry at the White House under different Presidents, and
appeared on several television programs. She taught creative writing for many
years and currently is a professor of English at the University of Virginia.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (1956–) was born in India, but she has spent
much of her life in the United States. Her writing has won numerous awards,
including the American Book Award for her short story collection Arranged
Marriage. Divakaruni sets her works primarily in India and the United States.
Divakaruni began her writing career as a poet, but she has branched out into
other genres such as short stories and novels.
Woman with Kite
My Notes
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Meadow of crabgrass, faded dandelions,
querulous child-voices. She takes
from her son’s disgruntled hands the spool
of a kite that will not fly.
Pulls on the heavy string, ground-glass rough
between her thumb and finger. Feels the kite,
translucent purple square, rise in a resistant arc,
flapping against the wind. Kicks off her chappals,
tucks up her kurta so she can run with it,
light flecking off her hair as when she was
sexless-young. Up, up
past the puff-cheeked clouds, she
follows it, her eyes slit-smiling at the sun.
She has forgotten her tugging children, their
give me, give me wails. She sprints
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
backwards, sure-footed, she cannot
fail, connected to the air, she
What descriptions does
the poet use to create the
setting and to describe the
characters in this narrative
All narrative, including
narrative poems, have a
sequence of events. List
the sequence of events in
the poem.
is flying, the wind blows through her, takes
her red dupatta, mark of marriage.
And she laughs like a woman should never laugh
so the two widows on the park bench
stare and huddle their white-veiled heads
to gossip-whisper. The children have fallen,
breathless, in the grass behind.
She laughs like wild water, shaking
her braids loose, she laughs
like a fire, the spool a blur
between her hands,
the string unraveling all the way
to release it into space, her life,
into its bright, weightless orbit.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Telling a Story with Poetry
My Notes
Grape Sherbet
by Rita Dove
The day? Memorial.
After the grill
Dad appears with his masterpiece—
swirled snow, gelled light.
In this poem, Rita Dove uses
punctuation to achieve a
stylistic effect. Try reading
the poem without the
punctuation, or with different
punctuation. How does that
affect the meaning?
We cheer. The recipe’s
a secret, and he fights
a smile, his cap turned up
so the bib resembles a duck.
That morning we galloped
through the grassed-over mounds
and named each stone
for a lost milk tooth. Each dollop
of sherbet, later,
is a miracle,
like salt on a melon that makes it sweeter.
It’s just how we imagined lavender
would taste. The diabetic grandmother
stares from the porch, a torch
of pure refusal.
We thought no one was lying
there under our feet,
we thought it
was a joke. I’ve been trying
to remember the taste,
but it doesn’t exist.
Now I see why
you bothered,
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© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Everyone agrees—it’s wonderful!
After Reading
3. With your teacher and classmates, use TP-CASTT to analyze “Woman with
Kite.” As you have learned, the acronym TP-CASTT stands for title, paraphrase,
connotation, attitude, shifts, title, and theme.
• Title: Make a prediction about what you think the title means before you read
the poem.
• Paraphrase: Restate the poem in your own words. What is the poem about?
Rephrase difficult sections word for word.
• Connotation: Look beyond the literal meanings of key words and images to their
• Attitude: What is the speaker’s attitude? What is the author’s attitude? How
does the author feel about the speaker, the characters, and the subject?
• Title: Re-examine the title. What do you think it means now within the context of
the poem?
• Theme: Think of the literal and metaphorical layers of the poem, and then
determine the overall theme.
My Notes
4. Create a graphic organizer that identifies the narrative elements in “Woman
with Kite.” Focus on how the narrative elements are addressed in the format
of a poem.
5. With a partner, analyze “Grape Sherbet.” Be sure to annotate the text for the
elements of a narrative, cultural references, and perspective.
Check Your Understanding
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Narrative Writing Prompt: Revisit the narratives you have composed throughout
this unit and select one to turn into a narrative poem. Or you might choose one of
the texts you have read this year, or use a new story idea. After completing your
poem, use sharing and responding within your writing group to discuss your poem.
Be sure to:
• Include a cultural perspective in your narrative poem.
• Create a sequence of events with vivid details.
• Intentionally use punctuation to create a stylistic effect.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Struggling with Identity:
Rethinking Persona
Marking the Text, Rereading,
Socratic Seminar, Discussion
Learning Targets
• Analyze how an author’s persona relates to audience and purpose.
• Identify allusions and connect them to the writer’s purpose.
• Practice effective speaking and listening in a Socratic Seminar discussion.
Before Reading
Literary Terms
Persona is the voice assumed
by a writer. It is not necessarily
his or her own voice.
1. Persona is a literary device that writers create in their stories. A persona allows
an author to express ideas and attitudes that may not reflect his or her own.
Think about your own personas. What is your persona with your family versus
your persona with friends and at school?
During Reading
An allusion is a reference to a
well-known person, event, or
place from history, music, art, or
another literary work.
In the first line, Rodriguez refers
to “Caliban’s advice,” which is a
literary allusion to the character
of Caliban in Shakespeare’s The
Tempest. Caliban wants to steal
the books and magic of another
character to gain power.
Rodriguez uses the allusion to
refer to education, which can
confer power. How do literary
and other allusions help you to
understand text?
2. Listen as your teacher reads the memoir aloud. Then, as you read it the second
time, underline unfamiliar vocabulary, and use context clues and reference
materials as needed to diffuse the text. Mark the text for allusions, and use
metacognitive markers by placing a ? when you have a question, a ! when you
have a strong reaction, and a * when you have a comment.
Richard Rodriguez has written extensively about his own life and his struggles
to reconcile his origins as the son of Mexican immigrants and his rise through
American academia. In his memoir, The Hunger of Memory, written in English,
his second language,Rodriguez examines how his assimilation into American
culture affected his relationship to his Mexican roots.
Excerpt from
The Hunger
of Memory
by Richard Rodriguez
What does the allusion
suggest about the topic of
Rodriguez’s essay?
I have taken Caliban’s advice. I have stolen their books. I will have some run of
this isle.
Once upon a time, I was a “socially disadvantaged” child. An enchantedly happy
child. Mine was a childhood of intense family closeness. And extreme public alienation.
Thirty years later I write this book as a middle-class American man. Assimilated.
Dark-skinned. To be seen at a Belgravia dinner party. Or in New York. Exotic in a
tuxedo. My face is drawn to severe Indian features which would pass notice on the page
of a National Geographic, but at a cocktail party in Bel Air somebody wonders: “Have
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you ever thought of doing any high-fashion modeling? Take this card.” (In Beverly Hills
will this monster make a man.)
My Notes
A lady in a green dress asks, “Didn’t we meet at the Thompsons’ party last month in
And, “What do you do, Mr. Rodriguez?”
I write: I am a writer.
A part-time writer. When I began this book, five years ago, a fellowship bought me
a year of continuous silence in my San Francisco apartment. But the words wouldn’t
come. The money ran out. So I was forced to take temporary jobs. (I have friends who,
with a phone call, can find me well-paying work.) In past months I have found myself in
New York. In Los Angeles. Working. With money. Among people with money. And at
leisure—a weekend guest in Connecticut; at a cocktail party in Bel Air.
Notice how Rodriquez
controls the narrative
pacing with his sentence
lengths. How does the
pacing of the selection
affect you as reader?
Perhaps because I have always, accidentally, been a classmate to children of rich
parents, I long ago came to assume my association with their world; came to assume
that I could have money, if it was money I wanted. But money, big money, has never
been the goal of my life. My story is not a version of Sammy Glick’s. I work to support
my habit of writing. The great luxury of my life is the freedom to sit at this desk.
“Mr? . . .”
Rodriguez. The name on the door. The name on my passport. The name I carry
from my parents—who are no longer my parents, in a cultural sense. This is how I
pronounce it: Rich-heard Road-re-guess. This is how I hear it most often.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
The voice through the microphone says, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is with pleasure
that I introduce Mr. Richard Rodriguez.”
Punctuation for Effect
Writers may place quotation
marks around a word to
suggest irony or sarcasm.
Rodriguez does this when he
ironically reports a listener’s
comment to him: “… wasn’t it
a shame that I wasn’t able to
‘use’ my Spanish in school.”
I am invited very often these days to speak about modern education in college
auditoriums and in Holiday Inn ballrooms. I go, still feel a calling to act the teacher,
though not licensed by the degree. One time my audience is a convention of university
administrators; another time high school teachers of English; another time a women’s
alumnae group.
“Mr. Rodriguez has written extensively about contemporary education.”
Several essays. I have argued particularly against two government programs—
affirmative action and bilingual education.
“He is a provocative speaker.”
I have become notorious among certain leaders of America’s Ethnic Left. I am
considered a dupe, an ass, the fool—Tom Brown, the brown Uncle Tom, interpreting
the writing on the wall to a bunch of cigar-smoking pharaohs.
A dainty white lady at the women’s club luncheon approaches the podium after my
speech to say, after all, wasn’t it a shame that I wasn’t able to ‘use’ my Spanish in school.
What a shame. But how dare her lady-fingered pieties extend to my life!
There are those in White America who would anoint me to play out for them some
drama of ancestral reconciliation. Perhaps because I am marked by indelible color they
Sentence Types
An effective way to create
rhythm and emphasis in
prose is to vary sentence
types and lengths.
Notice that Rodriguez uses
declarative sentences,
rhetorical questions, and
sentence fragments. These
syntactical choices reflect his
flow of thoughts and produce
sentence variety.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Struggling with Identity:
Rethinking Persona
My Notes
easily suppose that I am unchanged by social mobility, that I can claim unbroken ties
with my past. The possibility! At a time when many middle-class children and parents
grow distant, apart, no longer speak, romantic solutions appeal.
But I reject the role. (Caliban won’t ferry a TV crew back to his island, there to
recover his roots.)
Aztec ruins hold no special interest for me. I do not search Mexican graveyards
for ties to unnamable ancestors. I assume I retain certain features of gesture and mood
derived from buried lives. I also speak Spanish today. And read Garcia Lorca and García
Márquez at my leisure. But what consolation can that fact bring against the knowledge
that my mother and father have never heard of Garcia Lorca or García Márquez?
Earlier Rodriguez says, “They
are no longer my parents, in
a cultural sense.” Here, he
discusses loss in terms of
his parents. Why are these
statements true for him?
What preoccupies me is immediate; the separation I endure with my parents is
loss. This is what matters to me; the story of the scholarship boy who returns home one
summer from college to discover bewildering silence, facing his parents. This is my
story. An American story. Consider me, if you choose, a comic victim of two cultures.
This is my situation; writing these pages, surrounded in the room I am in by volumes of
Montaigne and Shakespeare and Lawrence. They are mine now.
A Mexican woman passes in a black dress. She wears a white apron; she carries a
tray of hors d’oeuvres. She must only be asking if there are any I want as she proffers
the tray like a wheel of good fortune. I shake my head. No. Does she wonder how I am
here? In Bel Air.
It is education that has altered my life. Carried me far.
3. Reread the text, using the guiding questions below to deepen your
understanding of Rodriguez’s purpose. In groups of four, divide the questions
among yourselves. Jot down answers to the questions, and then share your
notes with each other.
• Allusions: What allusions are made? How does Rodriguez draw on
Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as well as other literary works, to add depth and
meaning to his text (who are Caliban, Uncle Tom, and García Márquez)?
• Conflicts: What forces (either internal or external) are pulling Rodriguez in
different directions?
• Diction: What words have strong connotations and which images paint a
vivid picture?
• Syntax: Note the use of abrupt, choppy sentence fragments. What effect do
they have on your reading?
• What universal ideas about life and society does Rodriguez convey in
this text?
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After Reading
Introducing the Strategy: Socratic Seminar
My Notes
A Socratic Seminar is a focused discussion that is tied to an essential
question, topic, or selected text. You participate by asking questions
to initiate a conversation that continues with a series of responses and
additional questions. In a Socratic Seminar, you must support your opinions
and responses using specific textual evidence.
Socratic Seminar
Your teacher will lead you in a Socratic Seminar in which you discuss this piece
more fully. As you participate in the discussion, keep in mind the norms for group
• Be prepared—read the texts, complete any research needed, make notes about
points to be discussed.
• Be polite—follow rules for cordial discussions, listen to all ideas, take votes to
settle differences on ideas, set timelines and goals for the discussion.
• Be inquisitive—ask questions to keep the discussion moving, to clarify your
understanding of others’ ideas, and to challenge ideas and conclusions.
• Be thoughtful—respond to different perspectives in your group, summarize
points when needed, and adjust your own thinking in response to evidence and
ideas presented within the group.
Check Your Understanding
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Reflect on how the discussion in a Socratic Seminar adds to your understanding
of your reading. Also reflect on how the group applied the discussion norms. What
worked well? What did not work as well?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Changes in Perspective
Quickwrite, Graphic Organizer,
Marking the Text, Think-PairShare, Close Reading
Learning Targets
• Analyze tone and diction to track changes in narrative perspective.
• Examine how both internal changes and external changes can affect perspective
on experiences.
Before Reading
My Notes
1. Quickwrite: In your Reader/Writer Notebook, describe how Thanksgiving is
celebrated either in your home or by characters you have seen in films or on
television. How is Thanksgiving an example of your culture?
Choose a holiday or celebration and describe how your perspective on or attitude
toward the holiday may have changed over time, from childhood to adolescence.
Then describe how you think it might change as you get older.
Adolescent Perspective:
Future Perspective:
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Childhood Perspective:
During Reading
2. Complete the following graphic organizer as you read “Thanksgiving:
A Personal History.”
Time Period
Words or Phrases Used to Indicate a
Transition to This Time Period
“When I was a kid . . .”
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Tone toward the Thanksgiving
Holiday with Textual Evidence
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Changes in Perspective
My Notes
Jennifer New lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and write regularly for online and other
publications. She describes herself as a dedicated writer whose “mind is forever on the page, playing with language and new ideas for books or articles.”
What does the author struggle
with as her perspective of
Thanksgiving changes?
A Personal History
by Jennifer New
From the mythic Midwest of my childhood to the mesmerizing Chicago of
later years, this holiday has always evoked a place.
2 This is the holiday mind game: the too-sweet memory of that one shining moment
coupled with the painful certainty that the rest of the world must be sitting at a Norman
Rockwell table feeling loved. It only gets worse when you begin deconstructing the
purpose of such holidays. Pondering the true origins of Thanksgiving, for example,
always leaves me feeling more than a bit ashamed and not the least bit festive. Don’t
even get me started on Christmas.
The author uses an allusion to
“Pandora’s box” as a metaphor
for unforeseen troubles. The
term comes from a Greek
myth about Pandora, a woman
whose act of opening a sealed
jar released various evils or
misfortune into the world. Look
at paragraph 3 and use context
to determine the denotative
and connotative meanings of
“Pandora’s box” as the author
uses it.
3 Every year, I think more and more of divorcing myself from these blockbuster
holidays. I want to be free from both the material glut1 and the Pandora’s box of
emotions that opens every November and doesn’t safely close until Jan. 2. Chief among
these is the longing for that perfect day that my friend described, the wishful balance of
tradition, meaning and belonging. But as an only child in a family that has never been
long on tradition, I’ve usually felt my nose pressed against the glass, never part of the
long, lively table and yet not quite able to scrap it all to spend a month in Zanzibar.
4 When I was a kid, of course, there was none of this philosophizing. I was too
thrilled by the way the day so perfectly matched the song we’d sung in school. You
know the one: “Over the river and through the woods . . .” Across the gray Midwestern
landscape, driving up and down rolling hills, my parents and I would go to my
grandmother’s house. From the back seat, I’d peer out at the endless fields of corn,
any stray stalks now standing brittle and bleached against the frostbitten black soil.
Billboards and gas stations occasionally punctuated the landscape. Everything seemed
unusually still, sucked dry of life by winter and the odd quiet of a holiday weekend.
glut: an excessive amount
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1 In trying to explain what was missing from her life, how it felt hollow, a friend
recently described to me a Thanksgiving she’d once had. It was just two friends and
her. They had made dinner and had a wonderful time. “Nothing special happened,” she
explained, “But we were all funny and vibrant. I thought life would always be like that.”
5 In less than an hour, we’d turn off the
interstate, entering more familiar territory.
My child’s mind had created mythic markers
for the approach to my grandparents’. First
came the sign for a summer campground with
its wooden cartoon characters, now caught
alone and cold in their faded swimsuits.
Farther up the road, a sentry-like2 boulder
stood atop a hill, the final signpost before we
pulled into my grandparents’ lane. Suddenly,
the sky was obscured by the long, reaching
branches of old-growth oak and elm trees.
A thick underbrush, a collage of grays and
browns, extended from the road and beyond to
the 13 acres of Iowa woodland on which their
house was situated. A frozen creek bisected the
property at the bottom of a large hill. The whole kingdom was enchanted by deer, a long
orange fox, battalions of squirrels and birds of every hue.
6 Waiting at the end of the lane was not the house from the song, that home to which
the sleigh knew the way. A few years earlier my grandparents had built a new house,
all rough-hewn, untreated wood and exposed beams, in lieu of the white clapboard
farmhouse where they had raised their children. I vaguely understood that this piece of
contemporary architecture, circa 1974, was a twist on that traditional tune, but to me it
was better: a magical soaring place full of open spaces, surprises and light.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
7 Upon entering the house, I’d stand and look up. Floating above were windows that
seemed impossibly high, their curtains controlled by an electric switch. On another wall
was an Oriental rug so vast it seemed to have come from a palace. Hidden doors, a glass
fireplace that warmed rooms on both sides and faucets sprouting water in high arcs
fascinated me during each visit. In the basement, I’d roam through a virtual labyrinth of
rooms filled with the possessions of relatives now gone. Butter urns, antique dolls and
photo albums of stern-faced people competed fantastically with the intercoms and other
gadgetry of the house.
8 I see now that it would have been a great setting for gaggles3 of cousins: having
pillow fights, trudging through the snowy woods, dressing up in my grandmother’s old
gowns and coonskin hat. Instead, I recall holidays as having a museum-like hush. Alone
with the friends I’d created in my mind and the belongings of deceased generations,
I was content. Upstairs, a football game hummed from the TV, a mixer whirred in
the kitchen and the stereo piped one of my grandmother’s classical music 8-tracks
from room to room. But the house, with its carpeting and wallpaper, absorbed it all.
As I’d seen in an illustration from one of my books, I could picture the house as a
cross-section, looking into each room where, alone, my family members, read, cooked,
watched TV and napped. Pulling the camera farther away, the great house glowed in the
violet of early nightfall, as smoke from the chimney wafted through the woodland and
then over the endless dark fields, a scattering of tiny, precise stars overhead.
sentry: a guard
gaggles: groups or clusters; also, flocks of geese
How do the external forces
in the author’s life (moving,
getting older, influence
of others) cause internal
My Notes
Philosophizing contains two
roots. The root -soph- comes
from the Greek word sophos,
meaning “wise.” This root
also appears in sophistry,
sophisticated, and sophomore.
The root -phil- comes from
the Greek philos, which
means “love of something.”
It also appears in philology,
philanthropy, philately, and
Empathy contains the root
-path-, from the Greek word
pathos, meaning “feeling,
suffering, or disease.” This
root also appears in pathology,
pathetic, and sympathy. The
suffix –y indicates that the
word is a noun. The prefix emmeans “with.”
Notice the words defined
in footnotes. Use these
definitions (the denotation)
and context clues to
determine the connotation
of the words as the author
uses them.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Changes in Perspective
A writer’s diction evokes
feelings and images in the
reader. Jennifer New chooses
vivid verbs and powerful
adjectives not only for their
meanings but also for their
connotations. Notice the
verb and adjectives in this
“From the back seat, I’d peer
out at the endless fields of
corn, any stray stalks now
standing brittle and bleached
against the frostbitten black
What tone does the verb peer
create? What color and feeling
do the adjectives brittle,
bleached, and frostbitten
My Notes
Jennifer New uses the word
“niche” to describe secret
places in her house. Niche is
a French word that may also
describe a special market or
one’s special skills. Try to
incorporate this word into your
9 The moment that brought us there together—my grandparents, mom and dad,
my uncle and his partner, and my great-grandmother—was perhaps the most quiet
moment of all. Thanksgiving supper, held in the dim light of late afternoon, was a
restrained meal, as though it were a play and we had all lost our scripts. Only the clank
of silverware, the passing of dishes and the sharing of small talk seemed to carry us
around and through it.
10 If I could go back in time and enter the minds of everyone at that table, I would
not be surprised if only my great-grandmother and I were really happy to be there. My
grandfather: walking in his fields, calculating numbers from stocks and commodities,
fixing a piece of machinery. My parents: with friends in a warmer climate, “The White
Album” on the stereo and some unexpected cash in their wallets. My uncle and his
partner Bob: willing themselves back home and beyond this annual homage. (Bob
himself was a mystery to me, a barrel-chested man who laughed a lot and wore—at
least in the one mental snapshot I have of him—a wild patterned smock top and a
gold medallion. No one had explained Bob’s relationship to our family, so I assigned
him a role in my own universe, much like the cartoon characters at the campground
or the sentinel rock. I made sense of him and marveled at his ebullience.) And then
my grandmother: thinking she should enjoy this, but tired from the cooking and
management of the meal, more looking forward to a game later in the evening.
11 That left my great-grandmother and me. Both of us were happy to have this time
with family, this mythic meal in which we both believed. And, really, everyone else
was there for us: to instill tradition in me, to uphold it for her. Isn’t that what most
holidays are about? Everyone in the middle gets left holding the bag, squirming in
their seats, while the young and old enjoy it. Within a few years, though, by the time
I hit adolescence, I’d had my fill of tradition. Not the boulder, the huge house with
its secret niches4 nor even the golden turkey served on an antique platter that my
grandmother unearthed every year from the depths of a buffet held any appeal. Gone
was my ability to see the world through the almost psychedelic rose-colored glasses of
childhood. I also hadn’t gained any of the empathy that comes with age. Instead, I was
stuck with one foot in cynicism and the other in hypersensitivity. The beloved, magical
house now looked to me like a looming example of misspent money and greed. My
great-grandmother, so tiny and helpless at this point, now struck me as macabre and
frightening, her papery white skin on the verge of tearing.
12 Perhaps my parents took my behavior, moody and unkind as it was, as a sign that
traditions are sometimes meant to be broken. I’m not sure whether they were using me
to save themselves from the repetition of the annual holiday, or if they were saving the
rest of the family from me. Either way, we stopped pulling into the wooded lane that
fourth Thursday in November. For the next few years, we’d drive instead to Chicago.
My mind managed to create similar mythic land markers: the rounded pyramids
near Dekalb, Ill., which I’ve since realized are storage buildings; the office parks of the
western suburbs where I imagined myself working as a young, single woman, à la Mary
Tyler Moore; the large neon sign of a pair of lips that seemed to be a greeting especially
for us, rather than the advertising for a dry cleaner that they actually were. About this
point, at the neon lips, the buildings around us grew older and darker, and on the
horizon the skyscrapers blinked to life in the cold twilight air. The slow enveloping by
these mammoth structures was as heady as the approach down my grandparents’ lane
had been years earlier.
niches: ornamental recesses in a wall for the display of decorative objects
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13 We would stay at a friend’s apartment, or better yet, in a downtown hotel. I was
mesmerized by the clip of urban life. On the wide boulevard of Michigan Avenue, I’d
follow women in their fat fur coats, amazed and appalled. The wisps of hairs from the
coat closed tight around their necks, hugging brightly made-up faces. Leather boots
tapped along city streets, entering the dance of a revolving door or stepping smartly
into the back of a yellow cab. The mezzanines of department stores—Lord & Taylor,
Marshall Fields—dazzled me; the glint of light reflected on makeup-counter mirrors,
the intoxicating waft of perfume on a cacophony5 of voices. And my parents, freed of
their familiar roles, seemed young and bright. They negotiated maître d’s and complex
museum maps; they ordered wine from long lists and knew what to tip.
My Notes
14 Of course, like that adolescent hero, Holden Caulfield, I was that thing we hated most:
a hypocrite. I couldn’t see the irony in my fascination with the urban splendor vs. my
disdain for my grandparents’ hard-earned home. Or that my parents possessed the same
qualities and talents no matter where we were. I definitely couldn’t pan out far enough to
see that I was just a teenager yearning for a bigger world, a change of pace.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
15 During these city trips, my sense of Thanksgiving shifted. No longer was it a
wishbone drying on the kitchen windowsill, or foil-wrapped leftovers in the refrigerator.
Instead, late November connoted the moneyed swirl of holiday lights flickering on the
Magnificent Mile as an “El” train clamored over the Loop. It was the bellows of drivers
and the urbane banter of pedestrians, weighted down with packages. The soft glow
of restaurants—the darker the better—cut me so far adrift from my day-to-day world
that I might as well have traveled to another continent. Far away from the immense
quietude of the house in the woods, the bellhops now served as my uncles, shop clerks
and waiters my cousins, and the patrons in theater lobbies and museums became my
extended family. Late at night, I’d creep out of my bed to the window and watch with
amazement as the city below continued to move to the beat of an all-night rumba.
Without having to be invited or born into it, I was suddenly, automatically, part of
something bigger and noisier than my small family.
cacophony: harsh discordant sound; dissonance
A mezzanine describes a
partial story between two
floors of a building. The word
comes from the French and
means “middle.” In theaters,
the first balcony is often called
the mezzanine.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Changes in Perspective
When you want to emphasize
parenthetical information, you
may use dashes rather than
commas (or parentheses).
Jennifer New uses this
technique in her sentence
“This family—suburban,
Jewish, bursting with noise
and stories—so unlike my
own, . . .”
My Notes
17 On my first visit, I was startled by the table set for more than 20 people. This was a
family in which relatives existed in heaps, all appearing in boldface and underlined with
their various eccentricities6. Neuroses and guarded secrets, petty jealousies and unpaid
debts were all placed on the back burner for this one day while people reacquainted
themselves, hugging away any uneasiness. This family—suburban, Jewish, bursting
with noise and stories—so unlike my own, made me teeter between a thrilling sense of
finally having a place at a long table, and a claustrophobic yearning for a quiet spot in a
dark café. Or, better yet, in a dark and quiet woodland.
18 This year for Thanksgiving, I will rent movies, walk with the dog down still streets
and have a meal with my parents and husband. Throughout the day, I’ll imagine myself
moving through the big house in the woods that my grandparents sold years ago.
Padding down carpeted hallways, I’ll rediscover hidden doorways and unpack that
platter from the buffet. A bag of antique marbles will open its contents to me as the
grandfather clock chimes. Counting “12,” I’ll look outside onto the lawn and watch a
family of deer make their nightly crossing through the now barren vegetable garden,
jumping over the fence that my husband and I put in their path, and into the neighbor’s
yard. I’ll press my nose against the cold glass and wish myself outside and beyond the
still of the house.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
What is the role of reflection
in understanding the effect of
changing circumstances?
16 In years since, I’ve cobbled together whatever Thanksgiving is available to me.
After college, friends and I, waylaid on the West Coast without family, would whip up
green-bean casserole and cranberries, reinventing the tastes of childhood with varying
success. There were always broken hearts and pining for home at these occasions, but
they were full of warmth and camaraderie. Then, for several years, my husband and I
battled a sea of crowds in various airports, piecing together flights from one coast to the
other in order to share the day with his family.
eccentricity: a behavioral oddity or peculiarity
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After Reading
3. In pairs, review the narrative and share the following topics, assigning each
person to one aspect of narrative writing to report and share findings to the rest
of the group.
My Notes
Student 1: Review the narrative and identify each of the narrative techniques
(dialogue, pacing, and description) from this unit. For each of the identified
techniques, evaluate the effectiveness of the technique in the narrative.
Student 2: Review the narrative and describe each of the narrative elements of the
story (setting, a sequence of events, a point of view, a theme, and characters).
Check Your Understanding
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Scan the text “Thanksgiving: A Personal History” and then write a summary of the
major time periods in the author’s life and how her attitude changed in each time
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
My Notes
Writing a Narrative
Your assignment is to write a narrative about an incident, either real or imagined,
that conveys a cultural perspective. Throughout this unit, you have studied
narratives in multiple genres, and you have explored a variety of cultural
perspectives. You will now select the genre you feel is most appropriate to convey
a real or fictional experience that includes one or more elements of culture.
Prewriting/Planning: Take time to plan your narrative.
• Have you reviewed your notes about your culture and the groups (subcultures)
to which you belong, in order to focus on cultural perspectives?
• How will you select personal experiences related to culture that you could
classify as stories worth telling?
• What strategies will you use to help create a sequence of events, specific
details, and images to convey your experience?
• How will you choose a narrative genre that will best suit your writing needs?
• How can you use your writing group to help you select a genre type and story
idea that would be worth telling?
Drafting: Choose the structure of your narrative and create a draft.
• How will you include important narrative techniques, such as sequencing
of events, dialogue, pacing, and description to develop experiences and
• How can you use the mentor texts of your narrative genre to help guide your
• How can you use the Scoring Guide to ensure your narrative reflects the
expectations for narrative techniques and use of language?
• How can you use your writing groups to solicit helpful feedback and
suggestions for revision?
Editing/Publishing: Confirm that your final draft is ready for publication.
• What resources can you consult to correct mistakes and produce a technically
sound document?
After completing this Embedded Assessment, think about how you completed the
assignment. Write a reflection responding to the following questions:
1. What have you learned about how an author controls the way an audience
responds to his or her writing?
2. What new narrative techniques did you include in your narrative to create an
effect in your reader’s response to the narrative?
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Evaluating and Revising: Create opportunities to review and incorporate
changes to make your narrative better.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Scoring Criteria
The narrative
• engages the reader
through interesting
lead-in and details
• uses narrative
(dialogue, pacing,
description) to
develop experiences
and characters
• provides a
conclusion that
resolves issues and
draws the story to
a close.
The narrative
• describes an incident
and orients the
• uses narrative
effectively to develop
characters and
• provides a clear
conclusion to
the story.
The narrative
• does not describe a
cultural perspective
or lacks essential
details to orient the
• includes few
narrative techniques
to develop characters
• provides an
conclusion that
does not resolve
the story.
The narrative
• does not contain
essential details to
establish a cultural
• does not effectively
use narrative
techniques to
develop the story
• does not provide a
The narrative
• follows the structure
of the genre with
• clearly orients the
reader and uses
effective transitions
to link ideas and
• demonstrates a
consistent point
of view.
The narrative
• follows the structure
of the genre and
includes a sequence
of events
• orients the reader
and uses transitions
to create a coherent
• uses a mostly
consistent point
of view.
The narrative
• may follow only parts
of the structure of
the genre
• presents
events and limited
• contains a point
of view that is not
appropriate for
the focus of the
The narrative
• does not follow the
structure of the
• includes few if
any events and no
• contains inconsistent
and confusing points
of view.
The narrative
• uses descriptive
• purposefully uses
language and telling
descriptive language,
telling details, and
• uses direct and/or
vivid imagery
indirect dialogue
• uses meaningful
when appropriate
dialogue when
• demonstrates
appropriate to
general command
advance the
of conventions
• demonstrates errorand spelling;
free spelling and use
minor errors do
of standard English
not interfere with
The narrative
• uses limited
descriptive language
or details
• contains little or no
• demonstrates
limited command
of conventions and
spelling; errors
interfere with
The narrative
• uses no descriptive
language or details
• contains no effective
use of dialogue
• contains numerous
errors in grammar
and conventions
that interfere with
Use of Language The narrative
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Previewing Embedded Assessment 2
and Thinking About Argument
Marking the Text, Summarizing,
Graphic Organizer
My Notes
Learning Targets
• Identify the knowledge and skills needed to complete Embedded Assessment 2
successfully and reflect on prior learning that supports the knowledge and skills
• Explore the issue of justice as a potential topic of an argument.
Making Connections
In the first part of this unit, you explored a variety of narratives and told a
memorable story that conveyed a cultural perspective. In this part of the unit, you
will expand on your writing skills by writing an argumentative essay to persuade an
audience to agree with your position on an issue.
Essential Questions
Based on your learning from the first part of this unit, how would you respond to
the Essential Questions now?
1. How can cultural experiences and perspectives be conveyed through
memorable narratives?
2. What issues resonate across cultures, and how are arguments developed
in response?
Look at your Reader/Writer Notebook and review the new vocabulary you learned
in the first part of this unit. Which words do you know in depth, and which words
do you need to learn more about?
Unpacking Embedded Assessment 2
Read the assignment for Embedded Assessment 2: Writing an
Argumentative Essay.
In this part of the unit, you
will be reading informational
texts as well as some wellknown speeches. Speeches
are often made to persuade an
audience about a topic. You
might consider reading famous
speeches or informational
texts about issues on which
you have a definite position.
Your assignment is to develop an argument about an issue that resonates
across cultures. You will choose a position, target audience, and effective genre
to convey your argument to a wide audience.
In your own words, summarize what you will need to know to complete this
assessment successfully. With your class, create a graphic organizer to represent
the skills and knowledge you will need to complete the tasks identified in the
embedded assessment.
Arguing for Justice
An argument usually focuses on a topic that is of interest to many people. The topic
may be one with many different sides, or it may be one with two sides: for and
against. In this last part of the unit, you will explore issues of justice as an example
of a topic on which people take definite positions.
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Developing Vocabulary
Societies create systems of justice to maintain order by establishing rules and laws
that reasonable people understand and abide by. Even in well-organized systems,
though, there are differences of opinion about what is just, what is fair, and what is
right. Instances of injustice often provoke strong emotional reactions that give rise
to conflicts. Examining important social issues relating to justice demands that you
examine multiple perspectives and evaluate arguments for all sides of an issue.
1. Think about the following terms and write associations you have with them.
What words come to mind when
you see or hear these terms?
What has influenced your opinion of
these terms?
Justice, justice system
Laws, rules, codes,
Judge, jury, lawyers,
prosecutor, defendant,
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Ethics, morality
2. Now, using the ideas you have recorded, write a personal definition of the word
“justice.” What does justice mean to you? How does your culture affect your
views on justice? You can develop your definition of justice with a series of brief
examples or with a narrative that illustrates your point.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Justice and Culture
Quickwrite, Think-Pair-Share,
Close Reading, Marking the
Text, Note-taking, Graphic
My Notes
Learning Targets
• Analyze and synthesize details from three texts about justice.
• Create an argument on an issue of justice using valid reasoning, addressing
claims and counterclaims, and incorporating an effective organizational plan in
a written argument.
When presenting their support for a particular point of view, writers use persuasive
language to make their cases about unjust treatment or situations. A powerful
argument is crafted using emotional, logical, and ethical appeals to those who
have the power to take action on an issue. To take a stand against an injustice and
provide a passionate and persuasive argument that convinces others of your point
of view is the responsibility and right of every effective communicator.
Before Reading
2. The leap from making your point on a personal issue of fairness to delivering
a convincing argument on an issue of injustice to a broader, more demanding
audience is part of expanding your personal influence into a wider arena.
Respond to the following in a quickwrite; then discuss your responses with a
partner before participating in a class discussion.
• What happens when different cultures have varying perspectives on issues of
justice? What do you think might be the response to this kind of vandalism in
another country?
During Reading
3. Read the background information on the Michael Fay controversy, and discuss
the questions with a partner or small group. Read the articles carefully, taking
notes on the elements of an argument, including whether the reasoning is valid
and the evidence is relevant and sufficient. Mark the text, indicating words
and phrases that indicate the writer’s stance: for or against. Take notes in the
My Notes space about any biases you detect. At the top of the page, write For
or Against.
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1. Think about these situations and how you might react.
• Imagine that you, an American teenager, went out one night with some
friends and vandalized a car and street signs. Imagine then that you were
arrested by the police. What do you expect your punishment would be?
Would it involve jail time, repairing the damage, or some other penalty? How
do you think justice would be best served?
• What is the attitude in your family toward vandalism of this nature? In your
school? In your community?
Background Information on Michael Fay Controversy
My Notes
Michael Fay, an American teenager living in Singapore, was arrested in 1994 for
possession of stolen street signs and for vandalism of automobiles. The criminal
justice system in Singapore sentenced Fay to a series of “canings,” in which the
accused is struck several times on the buttocks with a long, rattan cane. Amnesty
International has declared this punishment “torture.”
Before the punishment was carried out, Fay’s father publicized his case all
over America, hoping that people would be so horrified by the act that they
would protest. What the case touched off instead was a huge debate over the
effectiveness of such punishments on criminals. Proponents of caning pointed
out that Singapore has very little crime, while America provides its criminals with
cable TV. The case dominated much of talk radio in the months leading up to the
scheduled caning.
The Clinton Administration did intervene somewhat and was able to get the number
of strokes reduced. In the end, Fay was struck four times with the cane, and the
case—and Fay—slipped out of the public’s mind.
The Michael Fay case generated a lot of publicity. Newspaper reporters and
editorial writers expressed different points of view on whether the punishment was
Forms of Evidence
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When presenting an argument, writers use evidence to support their positions.
Of the types of evidence—empirical, logical, and anecdotal—anecdotal is the least
reliable because it may have been passed from one person to another to another.
As you read the following two articles, look for the evidence presented to support
the arguments. Mark the text to identify each type of evidence, and discuss with
peers the effect of that persuasive technique on the text as a whole as well as its
impact on the reader.
Evidence is information
that supports a position
in an argument. Empirical
evidence is based on
experiences and direct
observation through
research. Logical evidence
is based on facts and a
clear rationale. Anecdotal
evidence is based on
personal accounts of
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Justice and Culture
My Notes
Time to Assert
American Values
from The New York Times
What is the most compelling
claim that the author makes
in the first paragraph about
the cultural conflict in
values illustrated by this
case of vandalism? How
does it support the author’s
Identify the concessions
the writer makes about the
conflicting values and how he
refutes them.
Singapore’s founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew, returned to a favorite theme yesterday
in defending the threatened caning of Michael Fay, an 18-year-old American found
guilty of vandalism. Western countries value the individual above society; in Asia,
he said, the good of society is deemed more important than individual liberties. This
comfortable bit of sophistry1 helps governments from China to Indonesia rationalize
abuses and marginalize courageous people who campaign for causes like due process
and freedom from torture. Western nations, it is asserted, have no right to impose their
values on countries that govern themselves successfully according to their own values.
So, the argument goes, when Americans express outrage over a punishment that
causes permanent scarring—in this case, caning—they are committing an act of cultural
arrogance, assuming that American values are intrinsically superior to those of another
There is a clear problem with this argument. It assumes that dissidents, democrats
and reformers in these countries are somehow less authentic representatives of their
cultures than the members of the political elite who enforce oppressive punishments
and suppress individual rights.
At times like this, Americans need to remember that this country was also founded
by dissidents—by people who were misfits in their own society because they believed,
among other things, that it was wrong to punish pilferage with hanging or crimes of any
sort with torture.
How is the author’s cultural
perspective reflected in the
argument and writing? These are values worth asserting around the world. Americans concerned with
the propagation2 of traditional values at home should be equally energetic in asserting
constitutional principles in the international contest of ideas. There are millions of
acts of brutality that cannot be exposed and combated. A case like Michael Fay’s is
important because it provides a chance to challenge an inhumane practice that ought
not to exist anywhere.
While this country cannot dictate to the government of Singapore, no one should
fail to exhort it to behave mercifully. President Clinton provided a sound example
when he called for a pardon. Principled private citizens ought now to call for American
companies doing business in Singapore to bring their influence to bear.
Our colleague William Safire is right to call upon American corporations with
subsidiaries in Singapore to press President Ong Teng Cheong to cancel Mr. Fay’s
punishment. According to Dun & Bradstreet and the U.S.-Asean Business Council,
some CEOs and companies in this category are: Riley P. Bechtel of the Bechtel Group
sophistry: false or misleading argument
propagation: the spreading of something, dissemination
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Inc.; John S. Reed of Citicorp; Roberto C. Goizueta of the Coca-Cola Company Inc.;
Edgar S. Woolard Jr. of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company; Lee R. Raymond
of Exxon Corporation; John F. Welch Jr. of the General Electric Company; Michael
R. Bonsignore of Honeywell Inc.; Louis V. Gerstner Jr. of the International Business
Machines Corporation; and Ralph S. Larsen of Johnson & Johnson Inc.
Singapore needs such people as friends. Now is the time for them to make their
voices heard. The Fay case provides a legitimate opening for American citizens and
companies to bring political and economic pressure to bear in the propagation of
freedom and basic rights. Former President Bush can lead the effort by using his speech
at a Citibank seminar in Singapore Thursday to call for clemency for Michael Fay.
Joining two independent
clauses with a semicolon
implies that the two clauses
are related and/or equal, or
perhaps that one restates
the other.
The cars were not
permanently damaged; the
paint was removed with
When introducing a
quotation after an
independent clause, a colon
may be used.
A Caning in Singapore Stirs Up a Fierce
Debate About Crime and Punishment
by Alejandro Reyes
The Vandalism Act of 1966 was originally conceived as a legal weapon to combat the
spread of mainly political graffiti common during the heady days of Singapore’s struggle
for independence. Enacted a year after the republic left the Malaysian Federation, the
law explicitly mandates between three and eight strokes of the cane for each count,
though a provision allows first offenders to escape caning “if the writing, drawing, mark
or inscription is done with pencil, crayon, chalk or other delible substances and not
with paint, tar or other indelible substances….”
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Semicolons and Colons
By evening, the Singapore
government had its reply:
“Unlike some other societies
which may tolerate acts
of vandalism, Singapore
has its own standards of
social order as reflected
in our laws. It is because
of our tough laws against
anti-social crimes that we
are able to keep Singapore
orderly and relatively crimefree.”
Responding to reporters’ questions, U.S. chargé d’affaires Ralph Boyce said: “We
see a large discrepancy between the offense and the punishment. The cars were not
permanently damaged; the paint was removed with thinner. Caning leaves permanent
scars. In addition, the accused is a teenager and this is his first offense.”
By evening, the Singapore government had its reply: “Unlike some other societies
which may tolerate acts of vandalism, Singapore has its own standards of social order
as reflected in our laws. It is because of our tough laws against anti-social crimes that
we are able to keep Singapore orderly and relatively crime-free.” The statement noted
that in the past five years, fourteen young men aged 18 to 21, twelve of whom were
Singaporean, had been sentenced to caning for vandalism. Fay’s arrest and sentencing
shook the American community in Singapore. Schools advised parents to warn their
children not to get into trouble. The American Chamber of Commerce said “We simply
do not understand how the government can condone the permanent scarring of any
18-year-old boy—American or Singaporean—by caning for such an offense.” Two dozen
American senators signed a letter to Ong on Fay’s behalf.
But according to a string of polls, Fay’s caning sentence struck a chord in the U.S.
Many Americans fed up with rising crime in their cities actually supported the tough
punishment. Singapore’s embassy in Washington said that the mail it had received was
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Justice and Culture
My Notes
overwhelmingly approving of the tough sentence. And a radio call-in survey in Fay’s
hometown of Dayton, Ohio, was strongly pro-caning.
It wasn’t long before Singapore patriarch Lee Kuan Yew weighed in. He reckoned the
whole affair revealed America’s moral decay. “The U.S. government, the U.S. Senate and
the U.S. media took the opportunity to ridicule us, saying the sentence was too severe,”
he said in a television interview. “[The U.S.] does not restrain or punish individuals,
forgiving them for whatever they have done. That’s why the whole country is in chaos:
drugs, violence, unemployment and homelessness. The American society is the richest
and most prosperous in the world but it is hardly safe and peaceful.”
How does the author use
concessions and refutations to
strengthen his argument?
The debate over caning put a spotlight on Singapore’s legal system. Lee and the
city-state’s other leaders are committed to harsh punishments. Preventive detention
laws allow authorities to lock up suspected criminals without trial. While caning is
mandatory in cases of vandalism, rape and weapons offenses, it is also prescribed for
immigration violations such as overstaying visas and hiring of illegal workers. The
death penalty is automatic for drug trafficking and firing a weapon while committing a
crime. At dawn on May 13, six Malaysians were hanged for drug trafficking, bringing to
seventeen the number executed for such offenses so far this year, ten more than the total
number of prisoners executed in all of 1993.
“If there is a single fundamental difference between the Western and Asian worldview,
it is the dichotomy between individual freedom and collective welfare,” said Singapore
businessman and former journalist Ho Kwon Ping in an address to lawyers on May 5,
the day Fay was caned. “The Western cliché that it would be better for a guilty person
to go free than to convict an innocent person is testimony to the importance of the
individual. But an Asian perspective may well be that it is better that an innocent
person be convicted if the common welfare is protected than for a guilty person to be
free to inflict further harm on the community.”
Each society has a different
reaction to the incident. How
do these reactions reflect their
culture’s view of justice?
There is a basic difference too in the way the law treats a suspect. “In Britain and in
America, they keep very strongly to the presumption of innocence,” says Walter Woon,
associate professor of law at the National University of Singapore and a nominated MP.
“The prosecution must prove that you are guilty. And even if the judge may feel that you
are guilty, he cannot convict you unless the prosecution has proven it. So in some cases it
becomes a game between the defense and the prosecuting counsel. We would rather convict
even if it doesn’t accord with the purist’s traditions of the presumption of innocence.”
Singapore’s legal system may be based on English common law, but it has developed its
own legal traditions and philosophy since independence. The recent severance of all
appeals to the Privy Council in London is part of that process. In fundamental ways,
Singapore has departed from its British legal roots. The city-state eliminated jury trials
years ago—the authorities regard them as error-prone. Acquittals can be appealed and
are sometimes overturned. And judges have increased sentences on review. Recently
an acquittal was overturned and a bus driver was sentenced to death for murder based
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Most Singaporeans accept their brand of rough justice. Older folk readily speak of
the way things were in the 1950s and 1960s when secret societies and gangs operated
freely. Singapore has succeeded in keeping crime low. Since 1988, government statistics
show there has been a steady decline in the crime rate from 223 per 10,000 residents
to 175 per 10,000 last year. Authorities are quick to credit their tough laws and harsh
penalties for much of that. . . .
only on circumstantial evidence. “Toughness is considered a virtue here,” says Woon.
“The system is stacked against criminals. The theory is that a person shouldn’t get off on
fancy argument.”
My Notes
Woon opposes caning to punish non-violent offenses. But he is not an admirer of the
American system. Last year, Woon and his family were robbed at gunpoint at a bus
stop near Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The experience shook him. America’s legal
system, he argues, “has gone completely berserk. They’re so mesmerized by the rights
of the individual that they forget that other people have rights too. There’s all this focus
on the perpetrator and his rights, and they forget the fellow is a criminal.” Fay is no
more than that, Woon says. “His mother and father have no sense of shame. Do they
not feel any shame for not having brought him up properly to respect other people’s
property? Instead they consider themselves victims.”
Yet harsh punishments alone are clearly not the salvation of Singapore society. The
predominantly Chinese city-state also has a cohesive value system that emphasizes such
Confucian virtues as respect for authority. “No matter how harsh your punishments,
you’re not going to get an orderly society unless the culture is in favor of order,” says
Woon. “In Britain and America, they seem to have lost the feeling that people are
responsible for their own behavior. Here, there is still a sense of personal responsibility.
If you do something against the law, you bring shame not only to yourself but to
your family.”
That “sense of shame,” Woon reckons, is more powerful than draconian laws.
“Loosening up won’t mean there will be chaos,” he says. “But the law must be seen to
work. The punishment is not the main thing. It’s the enforcement of the law. The law has
to be enforced effectively and fairly.”
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After Reading
4. Revisit your thinking at the beginning of the activity. In light of what you have
read, did you change your mind about this issue of justice? What questions
might you need to have answered before you decide if a punishment is just or
not? How does your culture reflect your thinking about justice?
5. Return to each of the texts and locate examples of evidence in the texts and
identify whether it is empirical, logical, or anecdotal. With your group, discuss
the impact of the evidence on the text and the reader, using examples from the
text to support your answers.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Justice and Culture
Reasoning and Evidence
A fallacy is a mistaken belief or
a false or misleading statement
based on unsound evidence.
Fallacious reasoning is illogical
because it relies on a fallacy.
When evaluating claims made about a topic, it is important to determine whether
a writer’s reasoning is valid and if the evidence provided sufficiently supports a
claim. Writers may make false statements that are not fully supported by logic or
Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that undermine the logic of an argument.
Fallacies may be based on irrelevant points, and are often identified because they
lack evidence to support their claim. Some common fallacies are given below.
Examples of Common Fallacies
A conclusion that is based on insufficient or
biased evidence; in other words, rushing to
a conclusion before all the relevant facts are
A conclusion that oversimplifies the
argument by reducing it to only two sides or
An emotional appeal that speaks to positive
(such as patriotism, religion, democracy)
or negative (such as terrorism or fascism)
feelings rather than the real issue at hand.
A comparison of minor misdeeds with major
Red Herring
A diversionary tactic that avoids the
key issues, often by avoiding opposing
arguments rather than addressing them.
We can either stop using cars or destroy
the earth.
If you were a true American, you would
support the rights of people to choose
whatever vehicle they want.
That parking attendant who gave me a ticket
is as bad as Hitler.
The level of mercury in seafood may be
unsafe, but what will fishers do to support
their families?
4. With a partner, reread the previous texts about Michael Fay and look for
evidence of fallacious reasoning. Provide evidence for why you think the
reasoning is fallacious, and discuss how the writers could have changed their
text to avoid these problems.
Check Your Understanding
What fallacies are commonly used in arguments? Explain how anecdotal evidence
could be an example of false or fallacious reasoning.
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Ad Populum
Even though it’s only the first day, I can tell
this is going to be a boring course.
Taking a Stand on Justice
Learning Targets
• Identify author’s purpose and analyze the argument presented.
• Analyze and evaluate the organization of ideas.
• Evaluate rhetorical appeals and their effectiveness in argument.
KWL, Discussion Groups,
Think-Pair-Share, Marking
the Text
Before Reading
1. With a partner, generate a list of ideas about civil disobedience using the
quotes below and what you already know about the phrase.
My Notes
“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the
agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”—Henry David Thoreau
“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”— Albert
“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality.
Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”—Malcolm X
“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and
everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’”—Martin
Luther King, Jr.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the
oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you
are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”—Bishop Desmond Tutu
During Reading
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2. As you read “On Civil Disobedience,” highlight words and take notes on
Gandhi’s claim and supporting evidence.
Born in 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a great believer in the power
of using civil disobedience against governments that oppressed the poor and
the disenfranchised. He spent seven years in South Africa leading and defending Indians born and living there without legal rights. It was there that he
began practicing satyagraha, or passive resistence. Later, he returned to his
homeland of India where he helped the country gain its independence from the
British in 1947. He became known there as Mahatma, or “Great Soul.” India,
though free from Britain, suffered from internal turmoil as religious factions
fought for power. Gandhi was assassinated by a fanatic in 1948.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Justice
My Notes
Excerpt from
On Civil
by Mohandas K. Gandhi
July 27, 1916
Who is Gandhi’s audience?
What in the text tells you this?
How might Gandhi advise you
to respond to an unjust law?
Use evidence from the text to
support your reasoning.
But through the other method of combating injustice, we alone suffer the
consequences of our mistakes, and the other side is wholly spared. This other method is
satyagraha2. One who resorts to it does not have to break another’s head; he may merely
have his own head broken. He has to be prepared to die himself suffering all the pain.
In opposing the atrocious laws of the Government of South Africa, it was this method
that we adopted. We made it clear to the said Government that we would never bow to
its outrageous laws. No clapping is possible without two hands to do it, and no quarrel
without two persons to make it. Similarly, no State is possible without two entities, the
rulers and the ruled. You are our sovereign, our Government, only so long as we consider
ourselves your subjects. When we are not subjects, you are not the sovereign either. So
long as it is your endeavour to control us with justice and love, we will let you to do so.
But if you wish to strike at us from behind, we cannot permit it. Whatever you do in other
matters, you will have to ask our opinion about the laws that concern us. If you make
laws to keep us suppressed in a wrongful manner and without taking us into confidence,
these laws will merely adorn the statute books3. We will never obey them. Award us for it
what punishment you like; we will put up with it. Send us to prison and we will live there
as in a paradise. Ask us to mount the scaffold4 and we will do so laughing. Shower what
sufferings you like upon us; we will calmly endure all and not hurt a hair of your body. We
will gladly die and will not so much as touch you. But so long as there is yet life in these
our bones, we will never comply with your arbitrary5 laws.
belligerents: participants in a war
satyagraha: (Sanskrit) insistence on truth; a term used by Gandhi to describe his policy of
seeking reform by means of nonviolent resistance
statute books: books of law
scaffold: in this use, a platform on which people are executed by hanging
arbitrary: illogical, unreasonable
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There are two ways of countering injustice. One way is
to smash the head of the man who perpetrates injustice and
to get your own head smashed in the process. All strong
people in the world adopt this course. Everywhere wars are
fought and millions of people are killed. The consequence is
not the progress of a nation but its decline. . . . No country has
ever become, or will ever become, happy through victory in war.
A nation does not rise that way; it only falls further. In fact, what
comes to it is defeat, not victory. And if, perchance, either our act or our
purpose was ill-conceived, it brings disaster to both belligerents1.
After Reading
My Notes
3. Many writers publish stories about civil strife in their countries. Compare and
contrast the portrayal of reactions to civil strife in Persepolis and “On Civil
4. What do you think was the author’s purpose for this text?
5. Look at how the author moves from idea to idea. How does Gandhi use causeand-effect to organize his ideas? Create a graphic organizer that shows the
cause-and-effect patterns you identify in the speech.
Language and Writer’s Craft: Outlining and Organizing
an Argument
To be effective, an argument should be precise, provide sound reasoning and
evidence, and use effective transitions to guide the reader from one idea to the
next. An argument might be organized as follows:
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I. Claim (the thesis for the writer’s argument)
II. Evidence (support for the claim) and explanation (description/details about
why and how the evidence connects to and supports the claim)
III. Reasoning (additional logic that may be needed to support the evidence and
explain why it is valid)
IV. Counterclaims (acknowledgment of other viewpoints or evidence that
disagrees with your claim/thesis)
V. Refutations (evidence/reasoning that negates the counterclaims)
VI. Conclusion (concluding statement pulling the claim and the evidence
together to create a call for action)
Argumentative Writing Prompt: Is civil disobedience a moral responsibility of a
citizen? Write an essay that addresses the question and support your position with
evidence from texts in this part of the unit and real-life examples to illustrate or
clarify your position. Be sure to:
• Write a precise claim and support it with valid reasoning and relevant evidence
(avoid false statements and fallacious reasoning).
• Acknowledge counterclaims that anticipate the audience’s knowledge level,
concerns, values, and possible biases while also refuting the evidence for
those claims.
• Create an organizational plan that logically sequences claims, counterclaims,
reasons, and evidence.
• Maintain a formal tone, vary sentence types, and use effective transitions.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Legal Issues
Marking the Text, Close
Learning Targets
• Analyze the use of rhetorical appeals in argument.
• Compare and contrast how different writers approach a subject or an issue.
Using Rhetorical Appeals
My Notes
You have learned how writers use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to readers.
In argumentative texts, reasoning should primarily be based on ethos and logos.
However, pathos can be a strong appeal as part of an argument.
Before Reading
1. Read the following quote from Chief Joseph. What rhetorical appeal is he using?
“Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade
where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of
my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself—and I will obey every law or
submit to the penalty.”
During Reading
2. As you read the short speech, think about its brevity yet great impact.
On Surrender
at Bear Paw Mountain, 1877
by Chief Joseph
Tell General Howard that I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart.
I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead, Tu-hul-hil-sote is
dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who now say yes or no. He who
led the young men [Joseph’s brother Alikut] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets.
The little children are freezing to death. My people—some of them have run away to
the hills and have no blankets and no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps
freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of
them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, my heart
is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.
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Chief Joseph (1840–1904) was the leader of a band of the Nez Percé people,
originally living in the Wallowa Valley in what is now Oregon. During years of
stuggle against whites who wanted their lands, and broken promises from the
federal government, Chief Joseph led his people in many battles to preserve
their lands. On a desperate retreat toward Canada, Chief Joseph and his band
were fighting the Army and the weather, and he finally surrendered in the Bear
Paw Mountains of Montana.
After Reading
My Notes
3. What is the primary rhetorical appeal that Chief Joseph uses in this speech?
Give examples and explain their appeal.
4. What is the tone of the speech? Explain.
Susan B. Anthony (1820–1905) became a prominent leader for women’s suffrage, giving speeches in both the United States and Europe. With Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, she created and produced The Revolution, a weekly publication
that lobbied for women’s rights. The newspaper’s motto was “Men their rights,
and nothing more; women their rights, and nothing less.” After lobbying for
the right to vote for many years, in 1872 Anthony took matters into her own
hands and voted illegally in the presidential election. Anthony was arrested
and unsuccessfully fought the charges. She was fined $100, which she never
paid. Anthony delivered this address to explain her own civil disobedience.
What is Anthony’s claim?
What evidence does she
use to support her claim?
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
On Women’s
Right to Vote
by Susan B. Anthony
Philadelphia 1872
Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for
the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having
a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus
voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights,
guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond
the power of any state to deny.
The preamble of the Federal Constitution says:
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice,
insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Legal Issues
My Notes
It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens;
but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the
blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of
our posterity, but to the whole people—women as well as men. And it is a downright
mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they
are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democraticrepublican government—the ballot.
For any state to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement
of one entire half of the people, is to pass a bill of attainder, or, an ex post facto law, and
is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are
forever withheld from women and their female posterity.
To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed.
To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious
aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established
on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An
oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy
of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of
sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother
and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household—which ordains all men
sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every
home of the nation. Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a
person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office.
After Reading
5. Cite evidence that Anthony uses to support her claim.
6. What rhetorical appeals does Anthony use in this speech? Give examples.
Check Your Understanding
Explain how each of the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos might be
used to create an effective argument.
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The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly
believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being
persons, then, women are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or
to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence,
every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several
states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against Negroes.
Taking a Stand Against Hunger
Learning Targets
• Identify an author’s purpose and analyze an argument presented.
• Synthesize information from print and non-print persuasive texts.
• Conduct research and present findings in a brief presentation to peers.
Brainstorming, Paraphrasing,
Previewing, Think-PairShare, Note-taking,
Discussion Groups, Marking
the Text
Before Reading
1. Imagine a country whose culture has always had a deep-seated fear of red hair.
The rulers of the country pass a law that says that all red-haired children are to
be banished when they turn 10. Is this a just law? How do you determine a law’s
justness? Can you remove it from culture, time, and place and still have it be
relevant? How are laws established in a state? In a country? How would you go
about changing our country’s laws?
My Notes
During Reading
2. The United Nations is an organization that tries to determine issues of justice
that transcend individual cultures and societal rules. What do you know about
the United Nations? Are there any laws to which all nations on the planet would
3. Think about children (defined as any person under the age of 18, unless an
earlier age of majority is recognized by a country’s law) around the world. If
all nations could agree on a set of laws that concern the treatment of children,
what kinds of laws do you think would appear in such a set?
4. As you read the next three texts (“Declaration of the Rights of the Child,” an
informational text, and an essay by Anna Quindlen), mark the text to identify
key elements of an argument and the evidence supporting claims.
Why does this declaration
separate the essential
rights of adults from those
of children?
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Declaration of the
Rights of the Child
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their
faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person,
and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger
Whereas the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein,
without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special
safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand Against Hunger
Verb Tenses
Verbs have active and
passive voice in all six tenses.
A passive-voice verb always
contains a form of be followed
by the past participle of
the verb.
The voice of a verb (active or
passive) indicates whether
the subject performs (active)
or receives (passive) the
Active voice, future tense:
The child shall enjoy all the
rights . . . .
Passive voice, future
tense: Every child shall be
entitled . . . .
Generally, it is preferable
to use the active voice in
your writing. The active
voice is more direct and
concise. However, sometimes
the passive voice is more
appropriate when the doer
of the action is unknown or
doesn’t matter. This formal
document effectively uses the
passive voice to emphasize
that the recipient of actions
(the child) is more important
than those who do the
actions (parents, government,
voluntary organizations, etc.).
How does this declaration
reflect the idea of justice?
Whereas the need for such special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva
Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924, and recognized in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of specialized agencies and
international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,
Whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,
Now therefore,
The General Assembly
Proclaims this Declaration of the Rights of the Child to the end that he may have a
happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and
freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals,
and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to
recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures
progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:
Principle 1
The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child,
without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction
or discrimination on account of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or
of his family.
Principle 2
The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and
facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally,
morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of
freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the
child shall be the paramount consideration.
Principle 3
The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.
Principle 4
The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow
and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to
him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall
have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.
Principle 5
The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the
special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.
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Principle 6
My Notes
The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs
love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under
the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and
of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional
circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall
have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those
without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the
maintenance of children of large families is desirable.
Principle 7
The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at
least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his
general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities,
his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to
become a useful member of society.
The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for
his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.
The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be
directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall
endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.
Principle 8
The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection
and relief.
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Principle 9
The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation.
He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.
The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum
age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or
employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his
physical, mental or moral development.
Principle 10
The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and
any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding,
tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full
consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his
fellow men.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand Against Hunger
My Notes
After Reading
5. Read the following graph, and then discuss the statistics on world hunger from
the World Health Organization.
Number of Hungry People in the World
925 Million Hungry People in 2010
Developed Countries
19 million
Near East and North Africa
37 million
Asia and the Pacific
578 million
Latin America
and the Caribbean
53 million
Considering the World Health
Organization data, how is the
world upholding the promises
made in the “Declaration of
the Rights of the Child”?
Sub-Saharan Africa
239 million
Source: World Health Organization
“In round numbers there are 7 billion people in the world. Thus, with an estimated
925 million hungry people in the world, 13.1 percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are
Statistic 2
“Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly
nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role
in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year—five million deaths.
Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria.”
Check Your Understanding
Are any of these statistics surprising? Are there any that you would like to
investigate further? As you move through this activity, you will have the
opportunity to conduct research on the issue of hunger or other issues of interest
to you.
During Reading
6. In her essay “School’s Out for Summer,” Anna Quindlen makes an argument
about the need to address child hunger in the United States. As you read the
essay, mark the text to indicate the components of her argument:
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Statistic 1
• Identify the hook, claim, evidence/support, concessions and refutations, and
a call to action.
• Underline the persuasive appeals and look for clues that indicate the author’s
intended audience.
My Notes
Anna Quindlen is a novelist and an award-winning and popular newspaper
columnist who has written for some of the nation’s most prestigious
newspapers, including the New York Times, where she was a reporter, editor,
and contributor for many years. Critics suggest that her appeal as a columnist
lies in her personal approach and her insights into problems experienced by
ordinary readers. She won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1992.
School’s Out
for Summer
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
by Anna Quindlen
WHEN THE AD COUNCIL CONVENED focus groups not long ago to help prepare a
series of public service announcements on child hunger, there was a fairly unanimous
response from the participants about the subject. Not here. Not in America. If there
was, we would know about it. We would read about it in the paper, we would see it on
the news. And of course we would stop it. In America.
Is it any wonder that the slogan the advertising people came up with was “The
Sooner You Believe It, the Sooner We Can End It”?
It’s the beginning of summer in America’s cement cities, in the deep hidden
valleys of the country and the loop-de-loop sidewalkless streets of the suburbs. For
many adults who are really closet kids, this means that their blood hums with a hint of
freedom, the old beloved promise of long aimless days of dirt and sweat and sunshine,
T-shirts stained with Kool-Aid and flip-flops gray with street grit or backyard dust.
But that sort of summer has given way to something more difficult, even darker,
that makes you wonder whether year-round school is not a notion whose time has
come. With so many households in which both parents are working, summer is often
a scramble of scheduling: day camps, school programs, the Y, the community center.
Some parents who can’t afford or find those kinds of services park their vacationing
children in front of the television, lock the door, and go to work hoping for the best,
calling home on the hour. Some kids just wander in a wilder world than the one that
existed when their parents had summers free.
How does the author use
the hook and claim to set
up her argument about
hunger in America?
Why is childhood hunger an
issue of justice? Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand Against Hunger
Would the author say that
the United States is meeting
the principle outlined in the
Declaration of the Rights of
the Child?
How is the author’s culture
reflected in the text?
What evidence does the
author provide to support her
And some kids don’t get enough to
eat, no matter what people want to tell
themselves. Do the math: During the rest of
the year fifteen million students get free or
cut-rate lunches at school, and many of them
get breakfast, too. But only three million
children are getting lunches through the
federal summer lunch program. And hunger
in the United States, particularly since the
institution of so-called welfare reform, is
epidemic. The numbers are astonishing in
the land of the all-you-can-eat buffet. The
Agriculture Department estimated in 1999 that twelve million children were hungry
or at risk of going hungry. A group of big-city mayors released a study showing that in
2000, requests for food assistance from families increased almost 20 percent, more than
at any time in the last decade. And last Thanksgiving a food bank in Connecticut gave
away four thousand more turkeys than the year before—and still ran out of birds.
But while the Christmas holidays make for heartrending copy, summer is really
ground zero in the battle to keep kids fed. The school lunch program, begun in the
1970s as a result of bipartisan1 federal legislation, has been by most measures an
enormous success. For lots of poor families it’s become a way to count on getting at
least one decent meal into their children, and when it disappears it’s catastrophic. Those
who work at America’s Second Harvest, the biggest nonprofit supply source for food
banks, talk of parents who go hungry themselves so their kids can eat, who put off
paying utility and phone bills, who insist their children attend remedial summer school
programs simply so they can get a meal. The parents themselves are loath to talk: Of all
the humiliations attached to being poor in a prosperous nation, not being able to feed
your kids is at the top of the list.
In most cases these are not parents who are homeless or out of work. The
people who run food banks report that most of their clients are minimum-wage
workers who can’t afford enough to eat on their salaries. “Families are struggling in
a way they haven’t done for a long time,” says Brian Loring, the executive director of
Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, Iowa, which provides lunches to more
than two hundred kids at five locations during the summer months. For a significant
number of Americans, the cost of an additional meal for two school-age children for
the eight weeks of summer vacation seems like a small fortune. Some don’t want or
seek government help because of the perceived stigma2; some are denied food stamps
because of new welfare policies. Others don’t know they’re eligible, and none could be
blamed if they despaired of the exercise. The average length of a food stamp application
is twelve often impenetrable pages; a permit to sell weapons is just two.
The success of the school lunch program has been, of course, that the food
goes where the children are. That’s the key to success for summer programs, too.
Washington, D.C., has done better than any other city in the country in feeding
hungry kids, sending fire trucks into housing projects to distribute leaflets about lunch
locations, running a referral hotline and radio announcements. One food bank in
bipartisan: supported by both major political parties
stigma: a sign of shame or disgrace
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My Notes
Nevada decided to send trucks to the parks for tailgate lunches. “That’s where the kids
are,” its director told the people at Second Harvest.
My Notes
We Americans like need that takes place far from home, so we can feel
simultaneously self-congratulatory and safe from the possibility that hard times could
be lurking around the corner. Maybe that’s why our mothers told us to think of the
children in Africa when we wouldn’t clean our plates. I stopped believing in that
when I found myself in a bodega3 with a distraught woman after New York City had
declared a snow day; she had three kids who ate breakfast and lunch at school, her food
stamps had been held up because of some bureaucratic snafu4, and she was considering
whether to pilfer food from the senior center where she worked as an aide. Surely there
should be ways for a civilized society to see that such a thing would never happen, from
providing a simpler application for food stamps to setting a decent minimum wage. But
wishing don’t make it so, as they say in policy meetings, and proposals aren’t peanut
butter and jelly. Find a food bank and then go grocery shopping by proxy5. Somewhere
nearby there is a mother who covets a couple of boxes of spaghetti, and you could make
her dream come true. That’s right. In America.
After Reading
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7. In a small group, critique the effect of the author’s argument. Share examples
of the author’s arguments (logical, empirical, anecdotal) and discuss the
effectiveness of the arguments presented. Can you identify whether the author
uses fallacious reasoning, and, if so, where?
8. Research: Do you support the author’s arguments, or would you take a different
position? Conduct research on the issue of hunger in your community.
• First, create a question you would like to answer through your research.
Then, use available resources to find answers to your question, creating new
questions or revising your question as needed based on your findings.
• Organize your evidence by form (empirical, logical, anecdotal). Provide at
least one example of each form of evidence.
• Finally, synthesize your findings into a brief, informal presentation, and
present your information to a small group of your peers.
Argumentative Writing Prompt: After researching the issue of hunger in your
community, write an essay that identifies the problem of hunger and argues for a
solution. Support your position with evidence from your research. Be sure to:
• Establish focus with a hook and claim.
• Demonstrate valid reasoning and sufficient evidence to support your argument.
• Cites sources using an appropriate format.
• Write a strong conclusion that follows from your claim and supports the
argument you presented.
bodega: a small grocery shop
snafu: a confusing situation
proxy: to act in the place of someone else
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Truth and
Guided Reading, Metacognitive
Markers, Note-taking, Marking
the Text, Close Reading,
Socratic Seminar
Learning Targets
• Analyze two complex speeches by Nobel Prize winners.
• Synthesize textual evidence by participating actively in a Socratic Seminar.
• Emulate the model speeches by drafting the opening paragraph of an
argumentative speech.
Before Reading
My Notes
1. Read the biographical information about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in the About
the Author section. Based on what you have learned about Solzhenitsyn, why do
you think he would be able to make a strong argument for speaking the truth in
the face of adversity?
2. Next, read the biographical information about Elie Wiesel. What do you
think Solzhenitsyn and Wiesel might have in common? How might their life
experiences add to their ethos in the context of their arguments?
During Reading
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) became a worldwide figure
when he was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 for publishing a historical
account of the wretched system of Soviet prison camps known as gulags.
Solzhenitsyn had been imprisoned as a young soldier during World War II
for writing a letter critical of Stalin, the Soviet dictator. His experiences in a
Siberian prison became the basis for his best-known work, A Day in the Life of
Ivan Denisovitch. For years afterward, Solzhenitsyn was forced to publish his
works secretly and often abroad because of the threat of further incarceration.
Solzhenitsyn lived in the United States for twenty years, but when he regained
his Soviet citizenship in 1994, he returned home and continued writing until
his death in 2008.
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3. Read Solzhenitsyn’s speech by participating actively in the guided reading led
by your teacher. Use metacognitive markers and take notes as you follow your
teacher’s directions.
My Notes
One Word of Truth
Outweighs the World
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
I THINK THAT WORLD LITERATURE has the power in these frightening times to
help mankind see itself accurately despite what is advocated by partisans and by parties.
It has the power to transmit the condensed experience of one region to another, so that
different scales of values are combined, and so that one people accurately and concisely
knows the true history of another with a power of recognition and acute awareness
as if it had lived through that history itself—and could thus be spared repeating old
mistakes. At the same time, perhaps we ourselves may succeed in developing our own
WORLD-WIDE VIEW, like any man, with the center of the eye seeing what is nearby
but the periphery of vision taking in what is happening in the rest of the world. We will
make correlations and maintain world-wide standards.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Who, if not writers, are to condemn their own unsuccessful governments (in
some states this is the easiest way to make a living; everyone who is not too lazy
does it) as well as society itself, whether for its cowardly humiliation or for its selfsatisfied weakness, or the lightheaded escapades of the young, or the youthful pirates
brandishing knives?
We will be told: What can literature do against the pitiless onslaught of naked
violence? Let us not forget that violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it
is inevitably intertwined with LYING. Between them there is the closest, the most
profound and natural bond: nothing screens violence except lies, and the only way
lies can hold out is by violence. Whoever has once announced
violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose lying as
his PRINCIPLE. At birth, violence behaves openly and
even proudly. But as soon as it becomes stronger and
firmly established, it senses the thinning of the air
around it and cannot go on without befogging itself in
lies, coating itself with lying’s sugary oratory. It does not
always or necessarily go straight for the gullet; usually
it demands of its victims only allegiance to the lie, only
complicity in the lie.
How does the author
describe the power of
What conclusion does the
author draw about truth?
The simple act of an ordinary courageous man
is not to take part, not to support lies! Let that come
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
My Notes
Taking a Stand on Truth and
into the world and even reign over it, but not through me. Writers and artists can do
more: they can VANQUISH LIES! In the struggle against lies, art has always won and
always will.
Conspicuously, incontestably for everyone. Lies can stand up against much in the
world, but not against art.
Once lies have been dispelled, the repulsive nakedness of violence will be
exposed—and hollow violence will collapse.
That, my friend, is why I think we can help the world in its red-hot hour: not by the
nay-saying of having no armaments, not by abandoning oneself to the carefree life, but
by going into battle!
In Russian, proverbs about TRUTH are favorites. They persistently express the
considerable, bitter, grim experience of the people, often astonishingly:
On such a seemingly fantastic violation of the law of the conservation of mass and
energy are based both my own activities and my appeal to the writers of the whole world.
During Reading
Elie Wiesel (1928–) was born in the town of Sighet, now part of Romania.
During World War II, he and his family were deported to the German concentration and extermination camps. His parents and little sister perished, while
Wiesel and his two older sisters survived. Liberated from Buchenwald in 1945
by Allied troops, Wiesel went to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne and
worked as a journalist. In 1958, he published his first book, La Nuit, a memoir
of his experiences in the concentration camps. He has since authored nearly
thirty books, some of which use these events as their basic material. In his
many lectures, Wiesel has concerned himself with the situation of the Jews and
other groups who have suffered persecution and death because of their religion, race, or national origin. Wiesel has made his home in New York City, and
is now a United States citizen. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
Excerpt from
Hope, Despair, and Memory
by Elie Wiesel, December 11, 1986
. . . Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If
dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future. Does this mean that our future
can be built on a rejection of the past? Surely such a choice is not necessary. The two
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
4. Follow the same close reading process you used with “One Word of Truth”
to read Wiesel’s “Hope, Despair, and Memory.” Be sure to mark the text for
evidence of his argument, counterarguments, evidence, and reasoning.
are incompatible. The opposite of the past is not the future but the absence of future;
the opposite of the future is not the past but the absence of past. The loss of one is
equivalent to the sacrifice of the other.
My Notes
A recollection. The time: After the war. The place: Paris. A young man struggles
to readjust to life. His mother, his father, his small sister are gone. He is alone. On
the verge of despair. And yet he does not give up. On the contrary, he strives to find
a place among the living. He acquires a new language. He makes a few friends who,
like himself, believe that the memory of evil will serve as a shield against evil; that the
memory of death will serve as a shield against death.
This he must believe in order to go on. For he has just returned from a universe
where God, betrayed by His creatures, covered His face in order not to see. Mankind,
jewel of his creation, had succeeded in building an inverted Tower of Babel, reaching
not toward heaven but toward an anti-heaven, there to create a parallel society, a new
“creation” with its own princes and gods, laws and principles, jailers and prisoners. A
world where the past no longer counted—no longer meant anything.
Identify where the author
uses narration. Why is
narration important to
Wiesel’s argument?
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Stripped of possessions, all human ties severed, the prisoners found themselves in
a social and cultural void. “Forget,” they were told. “Forget where you came from; forget
who you were. Only the present matters.” But the present was only a blink of the Lord’s
eye. The Almighty himself was a slaughterer: it was He who decided who would live
and who would die; who would be tortured, and who would be rewarded. Night after
night, seemingly endless processions vanished into the flames, lighting up the sky. Fear
dominated the universe. Indeed this was another universe; the very laws of nature had
been transformed. Children looked like old men, old men whimpered like children.
Men and women from every corner of Europe were suddenly reduced to nameless and
faceless creatures desperate for the same ration of bread or soup, dreading the same
end. Even their silence was the same for it resounded with the memory of those who
were gone. Life in this accursed universe was so distorted, so unnatural that a new
species had evolved. Waking among the dead, one wondered if one were still alive . . .
. . . Of course, we could try to forget the past. Why not? Is it not natural for a
human being to repress what causes him pain, what causes him shame? Like the body,
memory protects its wounds. When day breaks after a sleepless night, one’s ghosts must
withdraw; the dead are ordered back to their graves. But for the first time in history, we
could not bury our dead. We bear their graves within ourselves.
For us, forgetting was never an option. . . .
. . . And yet it is surely human to forget, even to want to forget. The Ancients saw
it as a divine gift. Indeed the memory helps us to survive, forgetting allows us to go on
living. How could we go on with our daily lives, if we remained constantly aware of
the dangers and ghosts surrounding us? The Talmud tells us that without the ability to
forget, man would soon cease to learn. Without the ability to forget, man would live in a
permanent, paralyzing fear of death. Only God and God alone can and must remember
How are we to reconcile our supreme duty towards memory with the need to
forget that is essential to life? No generation has had to confront this paradox with such
urgency. The survivors wanted to communicate everything to the living: the victim’s
solitude and sorrow, the tears of mothers driven to madness, the prayers of the doomed
beneath a fiery sky.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Truth and
My Notes
They needed to tell of the child who, in hiding with his mother, asked softly, very
softly: “Can I cry now?” They needed to tell of the sick beggar who, in a sealed cattlecar, began to sing as an offering to his companions. And of the little girl who, hugging
her grandmother, whispered: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be sorry to die . . . I’m not.” She was
seven, that little girl who went to her death without fear, without regret.
Each one of us felt compelled to record every story, every encounter. Each one of
us felt compelled to bear witness. Such were the wishes of the dying, the testament of
the dead. Since the so-called civilized world had no use for their lives, then let it be
inhabited by their deaths. . . .
. . . After the war we reassured ourselves that it would be enough to relate a single
night in Treblinka, to tell of her cruelty, the senselessness of murder, and the outrage
born of indifference: it would be enough to find the right word and the propitious
moment to say it, to shake humanity out of its indifference and keep the torturer from
torturing ever again. We thought it would be enough to read the world a poem
written by a child in the Theresienstadt ghetto to ensure that no child anywhere would
ever again have to endure hunger or fear. It would be enough to describe a death-camp
“Selection,” to prevent the human right to dignity from ever being violated again.
With the world as his
audience, what argument is
Wiesel making in his speech?
We thought it would be enough to tell of the tidal wave of hatred which broke
over the Jewish people for men everywhere to decide once and for all to put an end to
hatred of anyone who is “different”—whether black or white, Jew or Arab, Christian or
Moslem—anyone whose orientation differs politically, philosophically, sexually. A naive
undertaking? Of course. But not without a certain logic.
. . . I remember the killers, I remember the victims, even as I struggle to invent a
thousand and one reasons to hope.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must
never be a time when we fail to protest. The Talmud tells us that by saving a single
human being, man can save the world. We may be powerless to open all the jails and
free all prisoners, but by declaring our solidarity with one prisoner, we indict all jailers.
None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it
and expose it in all its hideousness. War leaves no victors, only victims. I began with
the story of Besht. And, like the Besht, mankind needs to remember more than ever.
Mankind needs peace more than ever, for our entire planet, threatened by nuclear war,
is in danger of total destruction. A destruction only man can provoke, only man can
Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures, it is our gift
to each other.
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We tried. It was not easy. At first, because of the language; language failed us. We
would have to invent a new vocabulary, for our own words were inadequate, anemic.
And then too, the people around us refused to listen; and even those who listened
refused to believe; and even those who believed could not comprehend. Of course they
could not. Nobody could. The experience of the camps defies comprehension. . . .
After Reading
5. Review your notes and prepare for a Socratic Seminar about the responsibility
of speaking the truth and upholding significant memories. Socratic Seminars
work best when all participants come to the discussion prepared with textual
evidence and possible questions. Make sure you have three to four Level 2 or 3
questions, as well as evidence to support your thoughts on this issue, when you
participate in the Socratic Seminar.
My Notes
Pre-seminar questions:
• What is the importance of speaking the truth in the face of adversity?
• To what extent are we responsible for our fellow man?
Participating in the Socratic Seminar
A successful seminar depends on the participants and their willingness to engage
in the conversation. The following are things to keep in mind as you participate in a
Socratic Seminar:
• Talk to the participants and not the teacher or seminar leader.
• Refer to the texts to support your thinking or to challenge an idea.
• Paraphrase what other students say to make sure that you understand their
points before challenging their opinions and evidence.
Post-Seminar Reflection
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Reflect on your experience during the seminar and your learning by reviewing your
responses to the pre-seminar questions.
• Do you feel that you have a better understanding of the texts?
• What questions do you still have about the texts?
• How would you rate your participation in the seminar? What would you do
differently in your next seminar?
Argumentative Writing Prompt: Write an argumentative speech supporting a
deeply held belief of your own. Support your argument by including some narrative
elements. Be sure to:
• Use an organizational structure for an argument that logically sequences claims,
counterclaims, valid reasons, and relevant evidence.
• Use persuasive techniques and varied syntax for effect.
• Maintain a formal and objective tone.
Read your speech to a small group of your peers. Ask them to evaluate it for the
elements of an argument.
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Remembrance
Marking the Text, Revising
Learning Targets
• Analyze the structure and content of two argumentative essays.
• Create a revision plan to strengthen an essay’s elements of argumentation.
Before Reading
My Notes
1. In Activity 2.17, Elie Wiesel made a strong argument for the importance of
remembrance. In light of his experiences during the Holocaust, Wiesel can
speak authoritatively on whether or not remembering is of vital importance.
What about you? If you had to take a stand on the importance of memories,
what might your position be?
During Reading
2. The two essays that you will read next were written by students during the
writing section of the SAT Reasoning Test. As you read, mark the text to indicate
elements of argumentation.
Both essays received a 6, the highest possible score. Students had 25 minutes
to respond in writing to a prompt, so the essays are not expected to be free from
errors. You may notice errors as well as segments in need of revision. SAT essays
are recognized as first drafts. The students responded to the following prompt:
Essay Prompt
Many persons believe that to move up the ladder of success and achievement,
they must forget the past, repress it, and relinquish it. But others have just
the opposite view. They see old memories as a chance to reckon with the past
and integrate past and present.
(Adapted from Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, I’ve Known Rivers: Lives of Loss
and Liberation)
Assignment: Do memories hinder or help people in their effort to learn from
the past and succeed in the present? Plan and write an essay in which you
develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning
and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observation.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the
assignment below.
Student Essay 1
My Notes
Memories act as both a help and a hindrance to the success of someone. Many people
advise you to learn from the past and apply those memories so that you can effectively
succeed by avoiding repeating your past mistakes. On the other hand, people who get
too caught up with the past are unable to move on to the future.
Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, perfectly exemplifies the double nature of memories.
Wiesel, a Jewish man, suffered heavily throughout the Holocaust and Night is rife
with horrific descriptions of his experience. These memories help to spread the view
of what life was like. Through recounting these memories, Wiesel is able to educate
world readers about the atrocities committed in hopes that the same blatant violations
of human rights are never repeated again. His poignant pleas for a peaceful future are
examples of the therapeutic property that memories can have. Through reliving the
Holocaust through his writing, Wiesel was inspired to become proactive in the battle for
civil rights. Some would point to his peaceful actions and the sales of his book and label
him a success.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Despite the importance of recounting such memories, Wiesel acknowledges the
damage that memories can also cause. Following his liberation from the Auschwitz
concentration camp, Wiesel was a bitter, jaded man. He could not even write Night until
several years later. The end of the novel describes Wiesel’s gradual but absolute loss of
faith throughout the experience. His past experiences haunted him for several years,
rendering him passive. It was not unti he set aside his past that he could even focus on
the future. Had he remained so consumed with the pain and damage caused in his past,
he may have never achieved the success that he has attained.
Overall, Wiesel’s experiences exemplify the importance of the past as a guide. Wiesel’s
past experiences helped to guide him in later life, but it was not until he pushed them
aside that he could move on. To me this means that you should rely on your past
without letting it control you. Allow your past to act as a guide, while making sure that
you are also living in the present and looking to the future.
Student Essay 2
The subject of the human memory is a fascinating one. Memory is what keeps the
years of our past from becoming meaningless blurs. For years, scientists have studied
the human mind, trying to figure out exactly how memory functions. Andrew Lloyd
Weber even immortalized the subject in the song “Memory” from the musical Cats.
With barely any mental effort, memory helps us travel back in time to important events
in our life; with its aid we can see our first day of high school, smell last winter’s fire,
or taste yesterday’s lunch. But we also have the darker stories of our lives stored in our
mind. Do these memories hinder our forward progress, or must we overcome them in
order to grow as individuals?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Taking a Stand on Remembrance
My Notes
Because memory is such a mystery to us, many authors have toyed with it in literature.
Lois Lowry, in The Giver, describes a futuristic society in which one man, the Giver,
holds the memories, both good and bad, of an entire community. Jonas, his successor,
can only feel complete when he has been given both the good and the bad memories,
both those of color and love as well as those of war and pain. The book’s ultimate moral
is that perhaps these memories are painful enough that one wants to suppress them;
however, their absence makes the lessons they teach all the more meaningful—and left
They say that history repeats itself, and it is absolutely true. History teachers constantly
drill the horrors of slavery and segregation into our heads, to illustrate how far our race
has come. However, World War II and Hitler’s Holocaust took place less than a century
ago. Japanese Americans were sent into concentration camps less than a century ago.
After 9/11, anti-Arab prejudice reached new peaks. Yes, history does repeat itself. Still,
with the diversity of today’s world, perhaps the memories of the past can teach us once
and for all—never again. These horrific memories, sadly, are necessary if we are to learn
that lesson.
Many of today’s celebrities and world leaders have had some sort of problem growing
up. Some had learning disabilities, some physical conditions, some difficult childhoods
or a hard family life. Yet they rose above it to become who they are today . . . perhaps
the memories were necessary for them to become better people. I myself never knew
the real, harsh pain of losing a loved one until my uncle died from lung cancer two
years ago. Though I still miss him and deeply regret his death, I believe it has made me
stronger and because of him, I will never smoke.
After Reading
3. Compare your notes with a partner, and add additional notes based on your
discussion. With your partner, determine a revision plan for one of the two
essays. Remember that even though these were top-scoring essays, the writers
had only 25 minutes to complete them.
What revisions would you recommend to strengthen the arguments? Consult your
notes from throughout the unit for guidance. Work with your partner to apply your
revision plan to your selected essay.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
Memories are the past—no more, no less. They are hazy recollections your mind keeps
of what has happened, what cannot be changed. Good or bad, beneficial or painful, they
are simply memories. What you make of them, what you get from them, is entirely up
to you.
Creating an Argument
Your assignment is to develop an argument about an issue that resonates across
cultures. You will choose a position, target audience, and effective genre to convey
your argument to a wide audience.
My Notes
Planning and Prewriting: Take time to make a plan for your essay.
What further research will you have to do to support your claim?
Have you stated your claim precisely and identified your counterclaims?
Have you found sufficient evidence to support your claim?
Who is your audience and what are their concerns that must be addressed as
Drafting: Determine the structure and organization of your essay.
• How will you organize your ideas?
• What transitions will you use to connect evidence and support for your claim?
• What counterclaims will you acknowledge, and what evidence do you have to
refute them?
Revising: Compose your synthesis paper.
© 2014 College Board. All rights reserved.
• Have you written a precise claim?
• Have you used valid and sufficient evidence to support your claim?
• Have you created an organization that shows a clear relationship among claim,
counterclaim, reasons, and evidence?
• Does your conclusion follow from and support your argument?
• Have you maintained a formal style throughout?
Editing for Publication: Check that your paper is ready for publication.
• Have you included transitional words, phrases, and clauses to clarify and
connect ideas?
• Have you consulted style guides to ensure that you are citing evidence correctly
and using correct grammar and punctuation?
• Have you checked that all words are spelled correctly?
What have you learned about the importance of audience in determining the
way an argument is developed? How is logic and reasoning an important part of
creating an argument?
Unit 2 • Cultural Perspectives
Creating an Argument
The argument
• skillfully presents a
claim and provides
background and a
clear explanation of
the issue
• synthesizes evidence
from a variety of
sources that strongly
support the claim
• summarizes and
refutes counterclaims
with relevant
reasoning and clear
• concludes by clearly
summarizing the main
points and reinforcing
the claim.
The argument
• supports a claim that
is clearly presented
with appropriate
background details
• synthesizes evidence
from multiple sources
that support the claim
• develops claims
and counterclaims
fairly and uses valid
reasoning, relevant
and sufficient
evidence, and a variety
of rhetorical appeals
• concludes by
revisiting the main
points and reinforcing
the claim.
The argument
• states a claim but does
not adequately explain
the issue or provide
background details
• attempts to
synthesize evidence
from several sources
that support the claim
• develops some
counterclaims, but
reasoning may not be
completely relevant
or sufficient for the
evidence cited
• concludes by listing
the main points of the
The argument
• states a vague or
unclear claim and
does not explain
the issue or provide
background details
• contains no synthesis
of evidence from
different sources to
support the claim
• may or may
not develop
counterclaims, and
reasoning may not be
relevant or sufficient
for the evidence cited
• concludes without
restating the main
points of the claim.
The argument
• follows a logical
progression of
ideas that establish
between the essential
elements of hook,
claim, evidence,
counterclaims, and
• links main points with
effective transitions
that establish
The argument
• establishes clear
between the essential
elements of hook,
claim, evidence,
counterclaims, and
• uses transitions
to link the major
sections of the essay
and create coherence.
The argument
The argument
• does not follow a
• demonstrates an
logical organization
awkward progression
• includes some details
of ideas, but the
and elements of an
reader can understand
argument, but the
writing lacks clear
• uses some elements
direction and uses
of hook, claim,
no transitions to help
evidence, and
readers follow the line
• spends too much time
of thought.
on some irrelevant
details and uses few
Use of
The argument
• uses a formal style and
tone appropriate to the
audience and purpose
• smoothly integrates
textual evidence from
multiple sources, with
correct citations
• shows excellent
command of standard
English capitalization,
punctuation, spelling,
grammar, and usage.
The argument
• uses a formal style
and tone appropriate
to the audience and
• correctly cites textual
evidence from at least
three sources
• follows conventions
of standard English
punctuation, spelling,
grammar, and usage.
The argument
• mixes informal and
formal writing styles
• cites some textual
evidence but citations
may be missing or
• includes some
incorrect capitalization,
punctuation, spelling,
grammar, or usage that
interfere with meaning.
SpringBoard® English Language Arts Grade 10
The argument
• uses mostly informal
writing style
• uses some textual
evidence but does not
include citations
• includes incorrect
punctuation, spelling,
grammar, or usage
that interfere with
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