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MEDIA UNIT, ESL 114By Lori Drummond Goals of this Unit: - To understand the concept of bias and be able to recognize it in writing (others? and one?s own)- To understand the comparison/contrast rhetorical mode- To write a comparison/contrast essay using outside sourcesDAY 1Activity A: SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (10 minutes) In homogeneous (by country/part of the world) groups, students will discuss the following questions. (Learning hint: All students should take notes and prepare to offer their results). 1) In your country, who controlled/controls the media? 2) In your country, who influenced/influences the media? 3) Is there any bias in the media? If so, biased toward whom/what?Activity B: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (20 minutes) Each group will present the results of the small group work in Activity A. (Learning hint: Encourage all group members to participate using their notes). Activity C: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (20 minutes) Students will discuss the key points of Chapter 17, The Practical Writer, which concerns the comparison/contrast rhetorical mode. (Learning hint: If time allows, an exercise or two from the textbook can be done).Handout: Give students the writing assignment (appendix A).DAY 2ACTIVITY A: SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (15 minutes) In small groups, students will skim, summarize and then respond to the ?Dishonest Reporters? editorial from the Daily Illini. (The accompanying article has been divided into paragraphs, so that each group can tackle only one paragraph. For large classes, a fifth group can be assigned the headline and the illustrations). ACTIVITY B: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (10 minutes) The small groups will present their summaries and comments on the editorial from Activity A. (One spokesperson per group might be most time efficient).ACTIVITY C: SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (15 minutes) The small groups will skim three articles and an editorial cartoon (titles: ?Everyone Loses Under Edgar Plan?; ?Public TV Fund Drives Panned for Using Toys as Incentives?; ?Italian Pianist Isn?t Afraid of a Challenge?; and ?Hell No I Won?t Go? editorial cartoon). After skimming these, the students will place the four articles on a continuum from ?least biased? to ?most biased.? (Learning hint: Each group should be able to justify its choices).ACTIVITY D: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (10 minutes) Each group will present its continuum and briefly justify each choice using specifics (such as word choices). (Learning hint: Encourage each group to use a NEW spokesperson). (There?s no set answers, but a likely sequence would be: 1) ?Public TV?; 2) ?Italian Pianist?; 3) ?Everyone Loses?; 4) Clinton cartoon).Due: Students should bring in the newspaper articles/editorials they plan to use for the comparison/contrast assignment (see Appendix A) for approval.DAY 3ACTIVITY A: SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (15 minutes) In small groups, students will examine the article and editorial on IBHE from the Daily Illini. They will make a list of similarities and differences (both general and specific) to present to the class.ACTIVITY B: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (10 minutes) Each group will offer one similarity and one difference until all groups have spoken. Continue this rotation until all answers are given. The answers should be supported with evidence from the articles.ACTIVITY C: SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (15 minutes) The students will compare-contrast the two Yeltsin articles (one from the Daily Illini and the other from the Chicago Tribune). They should ask themselves how the differences affect their perception of a)Yeltsin, b)the event(s) detailed in the articles. Are the two articles equally slanted?ACTIVITY D: LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (10 minutes) The group will unite and discuss their results, offering specific proof for their statements. Due: Students should bring in their outlines to be checked.DAY 4ACTIVITY: Using their articles and outlines, students will write a comparison/contrast essay in class (50 minutes).DAY 5ACTIVITY: Students will peer edit each others? rough drafts. (A variety of peer editing forms may be used; a sample is provided in Appendix B). APPENDIX AComparison-Contrast Writing Assignment Can you believe everything you read? Of course, it?s easy to dismiss a tabloid article, but what about a newspaper article? A magazine article? A scholarly journal offering? Few issues include only one viewpoint. As a writer, it?s important that you be aware of all viewpoints, analyze them, and then decide which viewpoint you will adopt when writing an essay. In other words, your essay will be biased in a sense, but what?s important is whether you support your ?bias? logically and consistently with appropriate evidence and expert opinions. Specific Assignment: You?ll get a lot of choice in this assignment. You have these options: - Choose an editorial and a front-page article from an American newspaper which deal with the same issue. Compare-contrast the treatment of this issue. - Choose front-page articles from two American newspapers (about the same issue) and compare-contrast how they treat this issue. - Choose a front-page article OR an editorial from an American newspaper. Then choose a front-page article OR an editorial about the same issue from a newspaper in your own language (you?ll need to summarize this article/editorial in English). Compare-contrast how they treat this issue. Be sure to get your choices approved. Also, be prepared to make a fairly detailed outline. Appendix BComparison-Contrast Peer Editing Form1 is low; 5 is highClear thesis statement 1 2 3 4 5Smooth transitions 1 2 3 4 5Adequate evidence 1 2 3 4 5Logical content 1 2 3 4 5Quality and clarity of conclusion 1 2 3 4 5Overall impression 1 2 3 4 5 What organizational type did the writer use? Was this the proper choice? Why or why not? Greatest strength(s): Area(s) to improve (be specific): Last, mark any mechanical or grammatical errors you see. Be sure to discuss this sheet in detail with your peer editing partner(s).
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