AP Lang: An Appeal to the American People

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RL5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

Learning Target: I can analyze how an author’s choices on structuring and organizing their text helps contribute to their purpose and meaning of the work as a whole.

Opening Session: This week we’re going to be reading a lot of poetry. Since we are in AP Language and we really focus on the use of language and why someone would use a particular format to get their point across, today I want you to consider why someone would choose the format of a poem. Write a journal entry reflecting on why someone would write a poem instead of using another format such as an article, essay, book, or even something like a blog post.

Work Session: We’re reading a poem today called “An Appeal to the American People”, written by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. This is in your textbook on page 584. As we read this poem, which we’ll read through a couple times together, consider the author’s purpose and why she might be writing this.

After reading, we’re going to answer the Read and Write questions on page 585 together. Once we discuss these, I’d like you to write another journal entry using the Connect questions as your prompt – How does Harper’s tone echo earlier African American speakers we have read, such as W.E.B. Du Bois or Harriet Ann Jacobs?

Closing Session: VOCAB!! New words!

  1. —Altruistic
    1. —(adj.) unselfish, concerned with the welfare of others
  2. —Assent
    1. —(verb) to express agreement
    2. —(noun) agreement
  3. —Benefactor
    1. —(noun) one who does good to others
  4. —Chivalrous
    1. —(adj.) marked by honor, courtesy, and courage; knightly
  5. —Clemency
    1. —(noun) mercy, humaneness; mildness, moderateness
  6. —Dearth
    1. —(noun) a lack, scarcity, inadequate supply; a famine
  7. —Diffident
    1. —(adj.) shy, lacking self-confidence; modest, reserved
  8. —Discrepancy
    1. —(noun) a difference; a lack of agreement
  9. —Embark
    1. —(verb) to go aboard; to make a start; to invest
  10. —Facile
    1. —(adj.) easily done or attained; superficial; ready, fluent; easily shown but not sincerely felt
  11. —Indomitable
    1. —(adj.) unconquerable, refusing to yield
  12. —Infallible
    1. —(adj.) free from error; absolutely dependable
  13. —Plod
    1. —(verb) to walk heavily or slowly; to work slowly
  14. —Pungent
    1. —(adj.) causing a sharp sensation; stinging, biting
  15. —Remiss
    1. —(adj.) neglectful in performance of one’s duty, careless
  16. —Repose
    1. —(verb) to rest; lie; place
    2. —(noun) relaxation, peace of mind, calmness
  17. —Temerity
    1. —(noun) rashness, boldness
  18. —Truculent
    1. —(adj.) fierce and cruel; aggressive; deadly, destructive; scathingly harsh
  19. —Unfeigned
    1. —(adj.) sincere, real, without pretence
  20. —Virulent
    1. —(adj.) extremely poisonous; full of malice; spiteful


Assessment: Informal (Journal check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding)

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Independent Reading book; try your hand at writing a poem that addresses a current social issue.

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