Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
by Taras Grescoe (HarperCollins Canada, 2012)
Ask students to suggest, from their own experience in reading and writing persuasive arguments about issues, what a writer has to do to persuade readers to consider his or her perspective on an issue.
Students may suggest the following points.
• Know what the issue is. Use various critical-thinking and decision-making strategies to research the issue. Ask questions, find answers to those questions, and then ask more questions.
• Consider your position on the issue and search for supporting evidence from a variety of relevant and reliable sources. Also look for, think about, and respond to arguments from perspectives different from your own.
• Carefully plan and construct your argument so that it helps you achieve your purpose and persuade your intended audience. Draft a thesis statement; be sure you can support it with accurate and convincing evidence and details.
• Decide on your tone, keeping your purpose and audience in mind. Plan how you will fit all the elements of your argument together; then draft and revise your argument until it works as a unified whole.
See the teaching resource for more lesson ideas.
Cross-curricular Suggestions: Social Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography, Economics
Students could study Straphanger to extend their understanding of various issues related to the interactions between humans and their natural and urban environments. Reading Straphanger will deepen students’ awareness of issues related to urban renewal, current and possible future trends in modes of travel, and the social, political, economic, and environmental factors that influence decision-makers.