1920s boom time high School Instructional Performance Task Module

Developing a claim based on visual and informational text evidence

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Developing a claim based on visual and informational text evidence:

  • First have the class read (with teacher) some information about World War I recruitment efforts. For example, from Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_recruitment (accessed June 2013)] we learn that:

Prior to the outbreak of World War I, military recruitment in the US was conducted primarily by individual states.[2] Upon entering the war, however, the federal government took on an increased role.

The increased emphasis on a national effort was reflected in World War I recruitment methods. Peter A. Padilla and Mary Riege Laner define six basic appeals to these recruitment campaigns: patriotism, job/career/education, adventure/challenge, social status, travel, and miscellaneous. Between 1915 and 1918, 42% of all army recruitment posters were themed primarily by patriotism.[2] And though other themes - such as adventure

  • Teacher models identifying central idea from informational text that would help readers support a claim about the persuasiveness of the poster (e.g., highlighting and paraphrasing the idea that patriotism was the number one method of persuasive appeal)

  • Teacher then models (think-aloud) identifying details in the poster that reflect patriotic appeal, noting that these details are really exaggerated examples of patriotism (the huge flag, the strong words).

  • Teacher models creating an argumentative claim/thesis such as The 1917 “Call to Duty” recruitment poster successfully achieves its persuasive purpose through an emotional appeal to patriotism that can also be categorized as pathos.

    • The class will then view a Power point presentation with four visuals under the caption “Let’s Make an Argument” (Attachment I: “Let’s Make an Argument” - Power Point presentation). Tell students their job will be to craft an evidenced-based argumentative thesis (position) about each visual based on information they learned from their research reading in Lesson 1 (the New Woman, Prohibition, jazz, and mass culture). Teacher can continue to connect back to poster used in activating strategy to emphasize characteristics of a strong evidence-based claim. For example, looking at the visual for “Mass Culture,” one might theorize that the audience was listening to something extremely important. But connecting the details in the picture to the related readings from Lesson 1, a defensible thesis might be that radio programming crossed ages, attracting young and old equally. Similarly, the visual labeled “Jazz” could initially generate a thesis that only African Americans enjoyed jazz. But connecting the details in the visual to the related reading, a defensible thesis might be that the freeing of inhibitions associated with jazz among African Americans triggered subsequent interest, both positive and negative, in white America. Likewise, for the “New Woman” slide, details in the picture might suggest that the New Woman was wealthy, but referring back to the central ideas generated in Lesson 1, a more defensible thesis might be that “The new woman of the 1920s used fashion as a form of rebellion against the stifling restrictions of conservative Victorian society.” The teacher continues to model and seek student input re: how to locate and interpret relevant details from the image and connect them with one of the central ideas from the texts. As the teacher calls on volunteers and non-volunteers, the teacher can write the student-generated thesis statements on the board.

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