Discussion Questions on Literacy
“Interrogate the texts,” and compose a healthy well-developed paragraph response for each number (approx 1/3-typed page-for each response). Support your reasoning with quotes from the texts. Double space, 12 Point Times Roman Font.
Analyze in PRESENT TENSE (avoid “was”- change to “is”) Avoid overusing “is,” and weak 2-3 letter verbs (do, get, put, says), and replace with active verbs when possible. Read words to avoid, and edit word choice. You will be assessed on content, level of analysis, unity and coherence, word choice and grammar. Grading criteria posted below questions.
- How long did it take Frederick Douglass to learn to read and write? What strategies does he employ in his rhetoric?
- What is Douglass’s relationship to Master Hugh’s wife? How do their interactions change over time? Name some of the important factors in this transformation.
- Discuss the speaker’s purpose, audience and tone in “Theme for English B,” providing specific examples from the text to support your analysis.
- Analyze the speaker’s dilemma in the poem. In what ways does the speaker define himself or ascribe his identity (i.e., how does he answer the question “who are you”)?
- According to Baldwin, how did Black English develop in the US? Discuss the connection he draws between language and education. Provide at least two examples from the text to support your analysis.
- Discuss how Malcolm X learns to read, the sense of empowerment he gains, and the impact that rhetoric makes on the trajectory of his life’s work.
- How does Malcolm X develop a connection in the first section of the essay between books, language, and enlightenment?
- Is reading the most important skill for students in school today? Why or why not? What is equally or more important? What skills should schools prioritize?
- Compare the purpose, audience and tone of “Theme for English B” and “The Power of Words.” To what extent do the speakers’ words move you on a personal level? Cite specific words/phrases that resonated with you. To what extent do words matter? Can they heal what ails the present US society?
- What are some of your earliest memories of learning to read and write? Contrast the contexts of your learning process and the authors.’ Do these texts make you look at literacy in a new way? Explain.
Sources to Help