Common Core Standards: ELA
Standard 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Breakin’ it Down:
It’s CSI for English! Crime novels, thrillers, and detective stories have been a societal obsession for centuries because we love solving puzzles and looking for clues. So, think of this standard as a way to give students a chance to hone their sleuth skills!
The goal is to get students looking for faulty arguments or unsupported claims. You’ll usually stumble across these types of logical problems when authors get too bold with their claims. Have students on the look out for words like: all, completely, definitely, none, without a doubt, and so on.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
Teacher Feature: Ideas for the classroom
HATCHLING: The Art of a Critique
Show students that being a critic (food critic, movie critic, or even toy critic) involves critical reading and writing. After digging into a text and figuring out the author’s main points and evidence, ask students to question everything. Here are some questions you could give them to help them along:
- What convinced you and what didn’t? Explain.
- Where were the claims too big for the evidence?
- Which piece of evidence or example was the strongest? Why?
TAKE FLIGHT: What’s not there?
The funny thing about informational texts is that you have to teach students to look for omissions in addition to having them look at what’s on the page. Have them look for missing counter-claims, and brainstorm a list of questions or perspectives on the topic that were not addressed by the text.
If it’s a political or scientific text, give them the task of figuring out what evidence they could collect or what interviews they could conduct to discredit the author. Let the mud slinging begin!
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
- Beloved: Back to the Source
- Teaching Brave New World: Our Ford, Who art in ... Detroit?
- Catch-22: Achilles’ Heel: Antiheroes in Catch-22 and the Iliad
- Teaching A Raisin in the Sun: Costume Design
- Teaching A Raisin in the Sun: Newsletter
- Teaching A Rose for Emily: Put Miss Emily On Trial
- Teaching A Rose for Emily: Dramatizing "A Rose for Emily"
- Teaching A View from the Bridge: Playbill
- Teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The N-Word
- Teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Huck Finn vs. Video Games
- Teaching Animal Farm: To Preface or Not to Preface
- Teaching Animal Farm: You Say You Want A (R)evolution?
- Teaching Animal Farm: Corruption Makes the World Go Round
- Teaching Antigone: On the Hunt for Civil Disobedience
- As I Lay Dying: Telling a Story from All Sides: Experimenting with Multiple-Perspective Narration
- Teaching 1984: This Is Why I Write
- Teaching 1984: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings
- Teaching A Farewell to Arms: If Hemingway Edited Hawthorne
- Teaching Fahrenheit 451: Burn, Baby, Burn: Censorship 101
- Teaching Fahrenheit 451: Internet Censorship
- Teaching Fences: Write an Omitted Scene and a Critical Review
- Teaching Frankenstein: Breaking News: Stormy Weather Puts the Science Back in Fiction
- Teaching Great Expectations: Ups and Downs: Graphing Pip's Tumultuous Life
- Teaching Great Expectations: Somebody, Help Me End This Novel! Create Your Own Ending
- Teaching Great Expectations: Graphic Expectations: Interpreting Dickensian Imagery Through Art
- Teaching Heart of Darkness: Is there Darkness at the Heart of John Powell’s “Rhapsodie Negre”?
- Teaching Heart of Darkness: Orson Welles Did It, and So Can You
- Teaching The Lottery: From Page to Stage
- Teaching The Lottery: The 'Burbs
- Teaching The Metamorphosis: Turn and Face the Strange: Transforming The Metamorphosis
- Teaching The Odyssey: Modern Soldiers Heal with Homer
- Teaching The Odyssey: The Odyssey in Pictures
- The Old Man and the Sea: Making It Political
- Teaching The Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne "In Character"
- The Story of an Hour: One Hour Literary Analysis