In this lesson students will read about the controversy surrounding a book that was written. In this controversy a magazine outlet, The Economist, took offensive to a book that postulated that today’s economy is a direct descendant of the slave-economy. So we will read the review left by The Economist. After we have read the review of the book, we will explore the author’s response to the review of his book.
How does the point of view of an author affect their interpretation of events?
Lesson: Point of View
Time: 2 hours (2 days)
ELACC5RI6: Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
The Economist’s review of the book located at The Econonomist.
LA Times Review located here.
New York Times Review Located here: (Caution: This article quotes from sections of the book that include information about rape and prostitution)
The author’s response to the reviews of his book, especially the negative reviews of his book, located here.
The last time we met we spoke about the how the point of view of authors and writers influence the way that they write about stories and events. For example, when we read the stories of the Three Little Pigs, we explored that story from different points of view. Well, today we are going to be exploring something that is current and is still impacting our lives today, whether directly or indirectly; the issue of slavery. There is a recently published book written by Professor Edward Baptist. In his book, The Half Has Never Been Told, Professor Baptist states that the effects of slavery can still be seen today. Well, he received much praise and criticism for his book at the same time. We will examine various reviews of his book and look at the author’s direct response to reviews of his book, especially the review from The Economist’s.
Students will then venture off into their groups, and they will receive copies of the review/s of his book. The students, in groups, will formulate a response based on the readings that you assigned to them. Personally, I would assign the LA Times review, The Economist’s review and the author’s response to the review. They will summarize their readings on chart paper and share their responses with the class. Additionally, you could assign the New York Time’s version to students who are advanced readers, or you can share this as a whole-class, teacher led reading.
In responding to the various readings, the students will chose to write a response to any of the publishers. In their response, they will either agree or disagree based on the points that they have given and provide their own point of view.