Unit 1: Reading America

  • Kairos in Action: Horror Movies

    To be successful in our communications, we must learn how to extrapolate the values and fears of our audiences. This slideshow offers examples of successful horror movies that managed to do that.

  • Technochauvism & Paranoia

    You may pair this with Kairos in Action: Horror Movies. Have students write proposals for books or movies that exploit the panic each new invention created.

  • Everything is an Argument

    Because our way of creating and interpreting meaning is inescapably metaphoric and associative, learning how to consciously translate the meanings around us prevents some of the psychological harm inflicted when we process them subconsciously. 

  • Reflexive Phrases/Appositives  

    You can sell this activity to your students as “How to strengthen your ethos.” Together, look at page 108-109 of Everything is an Argument (or the slideshow “Everything is an Argument“) to see how Swarthmore professor Timothy Burke used reflexive statements to underscore his right to speak on a particular topic. Then divide the class…

  • Rhetorical Analysis of “Snowy Day” Nike Ad

    Materials: Questions to Ask When Conducting a Rhetorical Analysis, list of cognitive biases. YouTube video. With the whole class, watch the first three minutes of the video, which show the Nike ad without the analysis.  Ask them how the commercial makes them feel before you begin analysis of how these feelings are created. Pass out dialectical notebook…

  • Rhetorical Analysis of “The World is Yours”

     Materials: Official music video of Nas’s “The World is Yours,” slideshow “The World is Yours.”  The slideshow will give students essential backstory on this video, including the fact that “the world is yours,” is a recurring refrain of Tony Montana, the violent protagonist of the movie Scarface, who was willing to attain power and privilege by…