English Language Arts, Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Assessment
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Reading Comprehension
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Annotations & Article Discussion

    Annotations & Article Discussion


    In this lesson, students will share annotations and discuss the articles “Don’t Alter Models’ Bodies” and “Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?” Then they will write an argument in which they state their claim, present relevant evidence, and respond to counterarguments.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Body Image

    • Give students 3–5 minutes to share their notes and to generate questions.
    • Circulate through the room to get a sense of where there are interesting ideas or misunderstandings.
    • Identify one or two students to share their ideas during the Whole Group Share. SWD: Students with disabilities may be reluctant to contribute ideas during the Whole Group Share for a variety of reasons. It may be helpful to circulate as students write so that you can coach students and suggest which of their ideas may be interesting to share.


    Return to the articles you read for homework, “Don’t Alter Models’ Bodies” and “Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?”

    • Share your annotations and ideas about the two pieces about altering photographs with a partner.
    • Generate questions you both have about the article, and be prepared to share them and your notes with the whole class.

    Share any questions you have about the articles and your annotations with the whole class. Then discuss the following questions.

    • Is the manipulation of photographs in magazines cheating?
    • Are teenage girls more susceptible to self-image issues than boys? Are photographs of males in magazines sometimes manipulated?
    • Is it cheating to Photoshop a profile picture on a Facebook page?
    • Is an actor cheating when she or he sends out altered headshots?

    What Is Wrong With It?

    • Give students 3 minutes to write.
    • Form the class into equal small groups of 3–5 students.
    • ELL: In forming small groups, be aware of your ELLs and ensure that they have a learning environment where they can be productive. Sometimes this means grouping them with native speakers so ELLs can learn from the native counterparts’ language skills. Due to the vocabulary and the level of abstraction of this activity, it might be a good idea to ensure that ELLs are working with native speakers. Monitor that ELLs are engaged in the activity.
    • After students have had some time to share their Quick Write responses, raise the issue of regulating Photoshop by asking the following questions for a brief discussion.
      • ✓ Should the use of Photoshop in certain magazines be restricted or regulated?
      • ✓ Should magazines be allowed to self-regulate?
      • ✓ In what circumstances should Photoshop not be regulated?

    Work Time

    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What, if anything, is wrong with manipulating photographs in magazines? Explain your answer.

    Open Notebook

    Share your Quick Write responses within your small group.

    Regulating Photoshop

    • Once students understand what “regulating” means, instruct half of the groups to prepare arguments for the pro position: “The use of Photoshop in magazines should be regulated.” The other half should prepare arguments for the con position: “The use of Photoshop in magazines should not be regulated.”
    • Give them 5 minutes to prepare an argument for their position.
    • Then circulate through the room to identify groups that are coming up with strong, relevant support for their assigned claims.
    • Briefly facilitate a Whole Group Share from at least two groups on each side of the argument.

    Work Time

    Imagine that you are preparing to debate about the issue of regulating Photoshop. Your teacher will assign you your position, pro or con, on the statement:

    • The use of Photoshop in magazines should be regulated.

    If you have any questions about what is meant by “regulating,” raise them now.

    • Work with your group to develop one or two arguments (reasons, evidence, and explanations) to support your assigned position.
    • If called on, have one of your small group members share your argument with the whole group.
    • When you hear arguments from those who are assigned to oppose your argument, jot down their ideas to use as counterarguments.

    Open Notebook

    Your Argument

    • Give students time to write, and if necessary ask them to finish it for homework.


    What argument would you make to support your assigned position?

    • Write a paragraph or two stating your assigned claim.
    • Give at least one piece of relevant evidence, reason, or explanation.
    • Include how you would respond to counterarguments.

    Open Notebook

    Your Argument

    • Remind students that you will collect their paragraphs.


    Continue to fully develop your argument.

    • If you haven’t done so, complete the writing of your paragraphs.
    • Review the Grade 12 Argument Rubric.
    • Underneath your paragraphs, write what you would need to do to complete an argument essay on this topic.