Contemporary Issues: Who Is A Person?
Positive and Negative Rights
Rights of Personhood
DEBATE Assignment
Who is entitled to personhood as defined by US law?

The follow excerpt is from Thirteen American Arguments, by Howard Fineman. Fineman, an award winning political analyst, correspondent and writer, was senior columnist for Newsweek and is currently enior political editor for Huffington Post and MSNBC.

“Jefferson writes in the Declaration of Independence, that it is a ‘self-evident’ truth that ‘All men are created equal’ (US 1776). As devoted as we may claim to be to the Jeffersonian ideal, America has an equally deep penchant for denying what we all now call “human rights.” In search of profit or political power, in the fervency of faith and fear, we have limited or ignored the legal personhood-–even the elemental humanity-- of a long list of people, from Native Americans to alleged terrorists.”

Historical Inquiry
Time Line Topics
Armed Forces Desegregated (1948)

The nineteenth amendment was ratified in 1920 (AP Photo).

Timeline Assignment
GOAL To build a Time Line of events that demonstrate how we have argued the question of personhood in over the past two centuries. Students will research and explain events that demonstrated how a segment in American society was not accorded full-fledge personhood (TASK I). Once they know the facts of the event, students identify the argument at the root of the conflict, research the prevailing viewpoints of the time and offer opposing sides of the argument. They will do this in two parts, first by explaining the dominant culture's rationale for denying rights to the minority and second, by describing the minorities' claim that they deserved full rights of personhood (TASK II). Finally, students research and identify a literary interpretation of this argument that was inspired by the event. Students will analyze the work and explain how the work interpreted or shed light on the event for American society as a whole (TASK III)
Due Dates for TASK II & III
Monday, September 26
Bring hardcopy of one of the two articles that you will use on task 2. Annotate, following Mrs. B's guidelines.

Tuesday, September 27
Bring a hardcopy of the second article.

Wednesday, September 28
Bring polished rough draft of the Introductory and Prompt 1 Paragraphs for peer-conferencing.
Post the polished rough draft to TURNITIN Tuesday night. Your peers should edit a "turnitin approved copy".

Thursday, September 29
Task II, Statement of Argument and Prompt 1 Paragraphs are due. Post to wiki by midnight on Thursday.

Friday, September 30
Bring both articles for TASK II and pre-writing: thesis statement at least two pieces of evidence.

Monday, October 3
Bring polished rough draft Prompt 2 for peer-conferencing. Post the polished rough draft to TURNITIN Monday night. Your peers should edit a "Turnitin approved copy".

Tuesday, October 4
Post the extended paragraph for Prompt 2 to the Wiki by midnight

Wednesday, October 5
Bring polished rough draft of Task III (both Artistic Expression and Closing Paragraphs) to class for peer-conferencing. Post the polished rough draft to TURNITIN Wednesday night.

Thursday, October 6
Post Artistic Expression and Closing Paragraphs to wiki by midnight.

Friday, October 7
Each student will be assigned 6 topics from the Time Line and complete an information table.

Monday, October 10
Students will be assigned another 6 topics from the Time Line and complete an information table.

Task II has 3 parts:CLEAR STATEMENT OF THE ARGUMENT: due 9/29One sentence that identifies the argument that is the root cause of this event.
PROMPT 1 PARAGRAPH: due 9/29Why did the majority of Americans not recognize the rights of members of this group? (due 9/29)Select compelling evidence from two sources and develop thoughtful response organized in extended power paragraphs.

PROMPT 2 PARAGRAPH: due 10/4How did advocates for the minority group shed light on this injustice?Select compelling evidence from two sources and develop thoughtful response organized in extended power paragraphs.
Organize your writing in extended power paragraphs that include at least two pieces of evidence with each taken from different sources. Task II may cite evidence from sources used in TASK I but evidence from two new sources must be cited in TASK II. Each response should be posted in order on your wiki page (follow template instructions), contain few mechanics errors and follow the power paragraph format. The credibility of each cited source should be established using an appositive phrase and internal citations should accurately match the Works Cited which follows the last paragraph for Task II.

RUBRIC for TASK II: A quality entry will•Explain the significance of your time line event to the minority group and American society as a whole.•Identify, in one sentence, the argument that is the root cause of this event.•Explain the most important arguments of the minority group and dominant culture on this issue.•Organize your response in extended power paragraphs.•Cite compelling evidence from two sources that were not referenced in TASK I.•Establish the credibility of the source with an appositive phrase.•Credit sources with internal citations and a Works Cited placed after the last paragraph of TASK II.

TASK III: Artistic Expression Paragraph and Closing Paragraph
Click Here for Mrs. B's Model for TASK IIIParagraph 1: Students research and identify a literary interpretation or artistic expression of this argument that was inspired by the event. Your selection may include such genres as short stories, artwork, song lyrics, poetry, plays, etc. In an extended power paragraph, students will interpret the perspective on this issue and analyze the impact of the literary or artistic work for the minority group and/or American society as a whole.

Paragraph 2: CLOSING-- How did the event impact the debate on the argument? Explain the long term significance of the event on this issue. Did it resolve, address, or worsen the conflict?

TASK III: Artistic Expression Element Rubric
An outstanding product will.
•showcase a work that expresses a profound idea about your event and the argument surrounding it
•be the best example available, not simply the first one you find
•demonstrate your ability to interpret the meaning of the literary or artistic piece
•use the extended power paragraph format as a means to express your understanding of the event, argument, and how art literature and art
can reveal emotions and ideas
•reference sources accurately
•mechanics are clean and effective

TASK I:Write a journal/newspaper style article in which you take a neutral stance (as a reporter) and give the facts about the actual event. What led up to the event? What happened during the actual event? Did it have an “end” or is it unresolved? You are to write about this event when it happened , you are assuming the role of a reporter in 1850, 1920, etc., not someone looking back from 2011. You need to cite your sources, and they must include information only available during that time period. Each paragraph should cite evidence from two different credible sources (Task II).At least one source must be primary and/or an eyewitness account. Important - This work will be submitted to TurnItIn.com. We will provide you information about using this helpful resource!

Task 1: Mastery Rubric

An quality news article will:

•open with an attention-grabbing headline

•identify the author's name and the date of the publication (in the past)

•develop the 5 W's in power paragraphs

•paragraph 1: contain an interesting lead

•paragraph 2: cite a secondary source (an indirect quote)

•paragraph 3: a primary source (eyewitness account)

•maintain appropriate journalistic voice

•read like an article written in the same time period as the event occurred

•be free of mechanics and format errors

Due Dates for TASK I
Monday, September 19:
  1. On the time line page next to your topic, write a brief one sentence description of the event and after it type your first name last initial.
  2. Bring to class the hard copy of one source that you will cite (remember, you cannot cite general encyclopedias; eg. Wikipedia, Britannica, World Book) in TASK I. Annotate the text, by highlighting and making comments, asking questions, and otherwise noting significant information. If you don't remember Mrs. B's instructions on how to mark a non-fiction text, click in this link.

Tuesday, September 20
Bring to class the worked, hard copy of the second source that you will cite. These sources should come from the LC databases only.

Wednesday, September 21
Bring the Five W's table, completed, and a rough draft of your journalist article. Click here for a summary of journalistic style. The polished news article must be posted on the wiki by midnight on September 21st to receive timeliness points.

RESEARCH SOURCES:While we encourage you to begin your research by finding general information about your topic using general encyclopedia databases (World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, etc), you may NOT cite information from these sources (per MLA format rules). General encyclopedias are starting points to help you generate key terms to focus your research. You will need a minimum of five quality sources listed on the LC’s Homework Helper’s sheet. We strongly suggest the following databases: "Student Resource Center Gold,” "E-library, History Study Center," and "African American Study Center,” but there are many more fantastic databases to use. For Task III, our American Literature textbook is a wonderful source, as well as the Grove Art and Music and Blooms Literature databases.
Rubric for the Time Line Page
An outstanding time line entry includes the following:• Opens by identifying you, the author, and your event with a banner headline (see an example of a banner on the top of this page).• Under the banner, in the table place two graphics or photos that illustrates an important aspect of the event.• Thoughtful responses to each prompt are supported by credible sources representing diverse perspectives on the event.• Each response should be posted in order (follow template instructions), contain few mechanic errors and follow the power paragraph format.• The credibility of each cited source is established and internal citations accurately match the Works Cited.• TASK I and TASK II each use two new sources; TASK III cites one new source. Five different, credible source in all.• The Works Cited lists 5 credible sources from the LC databases.

Contemporary Inquiry

Was Anwar al-Awlaki entitled to the right of due process?
What Does Affiramtive Action Accomplish?
Do undocumented immigrants have any legal rights that require our respect?Does strict enforcemetn of immigration laws benefit the U.S. in the long run?