"Anything We Love Can Be Saved"-A Contemporary

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

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.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • recognize the similarities, making comparisons between Rachel Carson and Mary Eliza Church Terrell.
  • summarize the main points in Walker's Introduction to Everything We Love Can Be Saved.
  • identify the language strategies that Walker uses to persuade readers to believe in her causes.
  • understand the importance of minority voices such as Walker's in accomplishing social reform.
Materials 
  • Walker, Alice. Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1997. ISBN: 0-345-40796-2
  • Attachment One: Walker's Persuasive Writing Techniques – student copies
Bibliography 

Walker, Alice. Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1997. ISBN: 0-345-40796-2

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have students brainstorm a list of similarities between Rachel Carson and Mary Eliza Church Terrell. If the fact that the two writer/activists are both historical figures doesn't come up, point it out and then state that activism through writing is still an effective way of changing the world and that there are many contemporary writers who are doing just that. One such writer is Alice Walker, who though is most well known from her fiction (“The Color Purple,” “The Temple of My Familiar,” “Possessing the Secret of Joy,” etc.) has been just as prolific in writing about causes she cares deeply about.

  2. Read the Introduction to Everything We Love Can Be Saved .

  3. Have students summarize Walker's beliefs about the world. This can be in list or paragraph form. Have the learners develop a comprehensive list of Walker's beliefs.

  4. Go back and examine the text to find the techniques that she uses as a writer to convince her readers to agree with her. (Suggestions can be found in Attachment One: Walker's Persuasive Writing techniques .)

  5. Tell students that they might want to try some of these techniques in the next lesson when they do their own writing for action.

Assessment 

Participation in the discussion and completion of notes taken during the lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Analyze philanthropic traditions of diverse cultural groups and their contributions to civil society.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Describe how women and minority groups have used the civil society sector as an alternative power structure.
      3. Benchmark HS.7 Identify and give examples of the important roles women and minorities have played in the civil society sector in history.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.12 Explain why private action is important to the protection of minority voices.