Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Logical Blitzkrieg

It’s October. The elections are only five weeks away. Time to build the machine.

To the right of this post, you will see a list of resources (it mirrors the tabs at the top of the site, so you can also look there); the first link is called Logical Blitzkrieg, and you should click on it as soon as you’ve read the rest of this post. Over the next three class periods, you must use some of the tools I’ve given you there and in class to deconstruct the specious or illogical reasoning of one of the artifacts you and your group have brought in. You must also decide what form your deconstruction will take. Whatever you produce will be shared with the class using the Groups function of Google.

As a checklist:

  • Finalize your group’s name, and then designate a member to post/share materials with the rest of the class.
  • Choose an artifact to deconstruct according to its potential (e.g., the validity of its sources, its manipulation of emotion, its importance in a particular campaign).
  • Identify any specific logical fallacies you can in addition to breaking down claims, support, structure, and so on.
  • Run any questions or guesses or random thoughts by me over email or in class. Use Google to speed along this give-and-take.
  • Put together a deconstruction that can be scored and shared on Wednesday.
  • Read this and start figuring out how to use our new Google Group effectively.

For the last item in that list, you’ll need to check your BHS email. Now, the carrot and stick:

  • You will earn points for the quality of your group’s work. This will mirror the aggregate model from the summer.
  • You can also earn points by providing the class resources, teaching others how to use those resources, and producing quality artifacts for deconstruction.
  • The points you earn will be tabulated and scaled against the rest of the class, The most productive groups will earn the highest grades. You will police this to a certain extent; I will serve as the final arbiter.
  • Group quizzes will be drawn from what you teach each other. If a group identifies a particular fallacy, that is now quizzable material; if a group breaks down the reliability of a source, that is a quizzable skill; and so on.

Keep in mind that you are taking on a new and unique kind of responsibility; it is very much a work in progress. That said, do nothing beyond our classroom hastily or, let’s just say, without running it by me first.

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