The lessons below are modeled on the paired passage writing prompt for the Georgia Milestones end-of-grade and end-of-course tests. The lessons include two passages, three selective response questions with an analysis of the answers, a short constructed response, and an extended response. The lesson also includes detailed instructions for a strategy to enable students to write a well-crafted extended essay. (For more paired passage lessons, please see Informational Writing Lessons, Grades 6-8.)
The two passages for this lesson are a newspaper article from the Los Angeles Times describing a curfew in Sierra Leone during an Ebola outbreak and an excerpt of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.”
The first passage is a cut-up poem by Sara Holbrook in which the poet splices together segments from several sources. The second text is a speech given by writer Tim O’Brien when he accepted the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1979. O’Brien was a combat veteran in Viet Nam, and in his speech he talks about his decision to enter the war.
The two passages for this lesson are Randall Dudley’s poem, “The Ballad of Birmingham” and an abridged newspaper article recounting the bombing in Birmingham that killed four girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church.