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Using Readings to Launch Class Discussion and an Essay Assignment
— by Randee Cowles Randee Cowles
I plan on using a few readings from the textbook Everything's an Argument to launch class discussions and an essay assignment. These readings are in a unit entitled "How Does Popular Culture Stereotype You?" To begin with, I will introduce the concept of stereotyping to the class.  I will then have the class answer a few pre-reading questions about the topic; these questions will encourage students to think about their own definitions of stereotyping, how they have been stereotyped, and how popular culture, the media, contributes to creating and maintaining stereotypes.  We will then discuss these topics in class. Students will then read the assigned readings for homework and write down their thoughts on the readings. We will then discuss the student comments and readings in class, focusing on examples from the texts and  student comments. We will also look at any examples from the media that portray a stereotype. This usually involves looking at a commercial on Youtube. After our discussion, I will handout and review the essay assignment. For this essay assignment, students will need to interview a friend or family member with the goal of finding out how popular culture steretypes them. In their essay, students will need to discuss the ways the interviewee is stereotyped,  include an example of a time the interviewee was stereotyped, and discuss how poplular culture, the media, contributes to and maintains the stereotype.  We will wrap up the unit by discussing our findings in class.