Show your students a real-world application of the tools of rhetoric (ethos, pathos, and logos) as they examine the 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address given by Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs. The speech, which is filled with warmth, humor, and meaning, is a high-interest way to add the non-fiction analysis skills emphasized by the Common Core to your classroom. (All students seem to love Pixar and iPhones, after all.)
Students will learn the components of Aristotle’s rhetorical devices, view Jobs’ speech via a 14-minute video clip, and use a full-text transcript of his words to answer/discuss depth-of-knowledge questions. (Links for media included.) The worksheet questions require students to dig deep into the text as they support their answers about Jobs’ message and his skillful use of ethos, pathos, and logos. Finally, students will make personal connections to the issues raised by Jobs, which always make for compelling class discussions.
The materials, which will take a full hour to work through, include:
• Detailed lesson directions with helpful tips
• Two-slides (in both Powerpoint and SMARTBoard’s Notebook software format) to use as a mini-lesson about Aristotle’s tools of rhetoric
• A 5-minute video of lecturer notes to use as prep for the slide presentation
• A transcript of the speech (web and PDF links included)
• A 14-minute video of Jobs’ speech (link included)
• A well-designed handout of questions that will help students identify and analyze the elements of the speech
• An answer key to make for easy grading and to help guide class discussion
This material (a total of two slides, four pages of PDF content, and multimedia links) is appropriate for sixth through 12th grade students.
Want a similar lesson that analyzes the rhetoric of Oprah's Winfrey's 2018 Golden Globes speech? Click here to dig into Oprah's skillful use of metaphor, parallelism, pathos, and symbolism.
For more non-fiction materials that help meet Common Core high school standards, click HERE for a bundle of five Let’s Get Real expository lessons.
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