- How do words take on new and different meanings in different contexts?
- How does the speaker, audience, and subject of a text affect the purpose it conveys?
Students will analyze the libretto (written text) of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem and apply an understanding of the elements of rhetoric to it in order to analyze its changing meaning in different contexts.
ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R5: Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Module 3 (English Language Arts) aligns well with the following subjects/themes:
- English language arts: Studying rhetorical devices; interpretations of religious texts; reading memoirs or novels with themes of resistance
- Social Studies: Teaching resistance during World War II and/or the Holocaust
- Art and Music: Exemplars of forms of creative expression during or in response to social injustice, political conflict, war, or mass atrocity.
We recognize that English language arts students may not have had instruction in Holocaust history. Basic contextual information is provided in the film Defiant Requiem which you will screen as part of the lesson.
In addition, we recommend these pre-teaching resources:
For a basic overview of the Holocaust:
For resistance during the Holocaust:
- Jewish Resistance (Echoes and Reflections)
For rhetoric or rhetorical situations:
- Rhetorical Situations (Purdue Owl)
- Elements of Rhetorical Situations (Purdue Owl)
- Aristotle’s Rhetorical Situation (Purdue Owl)
For definitions of Holocaust terms, please visit Echoes and Reflections Audio Glossary
For a complete list of resources related to Defiant Requiem, please visit the Resources page.