Digital Lesson Plan
Step-by-step, whiteboard ready!
October 10, 2011, Issue
Explore Author’s Purpose
SUMMARY: Students will explore author’s purpose by reading an article and hearing from the author herself! In our video, Lauren Tarshis talks about why she wrote “Head Trauma” and why the issue of concussions in youth sports is close to her heart. The lesson culminates in a reflective essay.
You will need:
- “Head Trauma” in the October 10, 2011, issue of Scope
- Author’s purpose video
- The worksheet “Identifying Persuasive Strategies”
1. Write the following essential question on the board: Does the author fulfill her purpose for writing “Head Trauma”?
2. Before reading our cover story, “Head Trauma,” show our video. As students watch, have them write down a few reasons Lauren wrote the article. Then discuss the following as a class:
- Why did Lauren write “Head Trauma”? (to change the way Scope readers think about concussions, to bring attention to a crisis, to tell the story of Zack Lystedt)
- How would you describe Lauren’s attitude toward her subject? (She cares a great deal; she is passionate about it; she says it’s one of the most important stories she’s ever written.)
- What was the “turning point” in her research? (finding Zack Lystedt and talking to his father)
- What happened to Zack? (He got a concussion during a football game, continued playing, and suffered a life-changing injury.)
- How do you think Lauren’s attitude toward the topic of concussions might have affected the way she wrote her article? (It gave her a sense of mission; she might use persuasive strategies to convince readers to change they way they think.)
3. Tell students that they are now going to read Lauren’s story. Have them open their October 10, 2011, issues of Scope to “Head Trauma” on page 4. Read the “As You Read” box together. Tell students that as they read the article, they should think about what Lauren said in the video and whether she achieves her purpose of changing the way they think about concussions.
4. Have students read the article individually, in small groups, or as a class.
5. Break students into small groups to complete the graphic organizer “Persuasive Strategies in ‘Head Trauma.’” Students will analyze some of the techniques Lauren uses to persuade her readers to change the way they think about concussions. Ask each group to share its conclusions with the rest of the class.
6. Have students write a reflective essay in response to the essential question: Does the author fulfill her purpose for writing “Head Trauma”? They should use details from the main article, as well as from the sidebars, photos, captions, and the video, to support their ideas.
Note: To avoid pauses due to buffering, we recommend loading the video before your class begins—especially if you have a slow Internet connection.
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