Grade 10 ELA Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 3

Student in class

In this lesson, students read and analyze paragraphs 6–9 of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which King describes the racial injustice in Birmingham and explains why direct action is necessary. Students analyze one paragraph in pairs and then prepare for a collaborative whole-class discussion with a targeted analysis of different sections of the letter. Students use their targeted analysis to prepare for a collaborative whole-class discussion about the validity of King’s argument. Student learning in this lesson culminates in a Quick Write that requires students to explain how paragraphs 7–9 develop a claim King makes in paragraph 6.

Downloadable Resources

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Common Core Learning Standards

CCLS State Standard
RI.9-10.5 Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences...
RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning...
W.9-10.9.b Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the...

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