Ethos, Logos & Pathos: The Making of an Argument

Image courtesy of the Adventures in AP English blog

The class has gone over the Rhetorical Triangle a few times, and we are returning to the concept as we begin to research for our action projects. Students will:

  1. Bring in an article that talks about the topic they are interested in and figure out what appeals the author is using to convince the audience.
  2. Copy the text of the article into a Google document that they will move into their class folder, which should be called “Your_FullName Topic Research Article 1″[Make sure your folder is shared with Mrs. Vasquez and I to get full credit!]
  3. Make a Go through the article highlighting the different types of persuasion that you see different colors.

SOAPSTone is another great critical tool to use to analyze an article:

Speaker: Who is the author of this piece? Does s/he have any professional affiliations? Is s/he or the organization s/he is affiliated with considered to be biased? By whom?

Occasion: Why was this article written? Is there an event to spark the discussion, or is there urgency because of a policy changing? Does this context add anything to your understanding of the article?

Audience: Who is the article written for? How would you describe the group? Do you consider yourself part of this audience? How might this article read differently if read by a different audience?

Purpose: What did the author hope to accomplish? How did the author want the audience to respond?

Subject/Summary: What is the article about? Use your highlighted appeals to find the heart of the article and what is important about the subject.

Tone: What did the author want the audience to feel? Does his voice have an “attitude” of any type? Please use some of the words from the article to show why you picked this tone.

Don’t forget to fact check your article!:


Using a Nexus: Strengths-based project design


Thanks to Dr. Genevieve Walsh, Shannon Jakes, and Heather Foran from the Traveling School for introducing the Nexus activity to the Global Citizens in 2013. It continues to be a favorite!

The Nexus image is an ancient symbol that has been called everything from the Tripod of Life to Borromean rings and show up in the iconography of religions from Buddhism to Christianity. Students who attended the field trip were able to complete their own set of Borromean Rings with our new volunteers from the Day in the Life Program at UVa’s Curry School of Education. The first ring is filled with “What I am Passionate about or Love.” The second ring is filled with “What that I do well.” The final ring is filled with “What that the World Needs.” Then go back to the intersections between Passion and what you do well and fill in the ways those to things can overlap. Do the same for Passion and Needs and Needs and what you do well. Finally, fill in the center with the intersections between all three rings. See the wonderful example that Noelle (not pictured) and Eliza worked on while we were at OpenGrounds for orientation:

This week’s 3 R will be a reaction to doing this activity. Remember that your first paragraph should be a reaction to what the activity is. YOU SHOULD EXPLAIN WHAT THE ACTIVITY IS AND THE PROCESS OF FILLING IT OUT FOR YOUR READER. The second paragraph is a reflection and should analyze your feelings and reactions to your nexus. The third paragraph should be your response to how this activity has impacted you and will affect you moving forward. You could even use this sentence as a starter: “Understanding my values, my passions, and what the world needs has made me think that ……, ……, and …… may be good starting topics for my action project because …… ”

We want your projects to reflect your interests and use your strengths so that they become something you are proud of! After 3 years, we know that the sky’s the limit for our global citizens!




Religion and Sexuality:Are they really at odds?

This week, we watched the film For the Bible Tells me so after Alysha gave her presentation on gender and sexuality. Since Alysha is switching to a home schooling situation, we wanted her to have the opportunity to present on the action project she was planning to work on for the rest of the year.

Ms. Vasquez and I both feel that it is important to learn to listen and discuss difficult subject matter, especially since they can affect so many people. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this class really stresses the importance of  interrogating our own beliefs in order to understand where they come from, why we have them, and to be able to understand the beliefs of others. We have said many times that tolerance is not good enough when it comes to issues around race; why does that seem to be where many stand when it comes to issues around sexuality and gender?

Since the biggest barrier to understanding often comes down to the morality of different choices about sexuality and gender, we thought that watching this film would be another valuable perspective.

Remind yourself of powerful statistics about suicide, hate crimes, and the impacts of homophobia by revisiting our class collection of data here.