Grade 10 ELA Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 9

Students in classroom

In this lesson, students read and analyze paragraphs 19–21 of “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which King claims that the white moderate is the main reason injustice against African Americans has not yet ended. Students explore how King develops this claim by criticizing the white moderate. Students also analyze how this section of the text initiates a shift in King’s argument. The class culminates with a Quick Write on the following prompt: How does King’s new claim in paragraphs 19–21 refine his central claim in paragraphs 1–18?

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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...
L.9-10.4.a Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or...

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