Teach Argument With Serial Killers

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This is, in all likelihood, the creepiest lesson on TeachArgument.  If you’re looking to engage and spook your students by prompting them to apply their analytical skills to the language of serial killers, look no further.  If you teach younger kiddos and/or have a particularly sensitive bunch, you may want to peruse any of our less-creepy materials.

If you’re still reading, you’ll be happy to know that this lesson bundle, albeit hair-raising, is incredibly engaging and promotes deeper reading.  Students will analyze authentic excerpts from the likes of H. H. Holmes, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and David Berkowitz for rhetorical situation, purpose, and more.

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Lesson Description

What you can expect from this lesson bundle:

  • An engaging [and creepy] rhetorical analysis of serial killers
  • A full-class “exemplar” prompt (to be completed by the class as a whole in order to model appropriate thinking on this assignment)
  • A small-group lesson structure (i.e. three different text sets for analysis to be completed by different groups simultaneously and then shared out / presented to the class)
  • An opportunity for synthesis (comparing and contrasting the language of serial killers)

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Lesson Features

Grades Secondary (mature enough audiences to discuss serial killers in an academic context)
Lesson Focus Close reading, language choices, rhetorical analysis, speaker's purpose


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