This lesson includes a student information sheet discussing rhetorical triangle, ethos, pathos, logos, language devices, and sentence structure as rhetorical tools. It also includes video links to the speech, a student copy of the focus excerpt divided into numbered paragraphs and suitable for annotation, guiding questions directing annotation and close reading, a teacher copy of the speech including commentary and key notes for discussion, and a final writing prompt. All documents are fully editable.
This lesson serves to draw student attention to how an author uses language to appeal to audience and convey a message. It is a very simple speech but serves as an effective introduction of rhetorical analysis for more proficient Middle School students and 9th and 10th graders, or as review or refresher for 11th or 12th grade students. The key notes and commentary provide answers to the guiding questions and ideas for further discussion.
This lesson is a great way to develop critical thinking skills. Students begin by working at the identification level and then move on to critical thinking as they consider how the author’s choices help convey her message. It is a recent speech, easily accessible to most students, relevant and appealing. I use this lesson to build foundation skills for analyzing speeches.