Writers as Activists
In this unit students will learn about the power of writing for creating positive social change by studying writers who use their writing as a means of activism and by using those same tools to become activist writers themselves. Writing used as a form of philanthropy can empower even the most disenfranchised.
Students will understand and demonstrate their knowledge of the enormous impact that one woman writer had on the world and our environment by reading Part I of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Al Gore's 1994 introduction to the latest printing of the book.
By reading about her life and her work, students will understand how Mary Eliza Church Terrell’s writing and activism brought about change for African Americans and women.
Students will recognize the linguistic strategies that Alice Walker uses in her introduction to Anything You Love Can Be Saved that persuade readers to believe in her causes, and thus begin to think about techniques that they can use in their own activist writing, which they will do in the final lesson of the unit.
Students will identify causes that they care about and use writing as a tool to make a difference, using the persuasive writing techniques that they identified in previous lessons, by either writing to a lawmaker or a letter to the editor of a newspaper.