This project should be done as a unit in a speech or public speaking course, or as an activity to introduce students to persuasive rhetoric and public speaking in an English course.
Before beginning this project, explore controversial topics and debates going on in public education. Examples might include- merit based pay for teachers; affirmative action; standardized testing; prayer in school etc. The students will need to pull ideas from your anticipatory discussions/activities, as well as their own experiences in education to choose a topic for their presentations.
For the assignment itself, students will pick a topic in public education and write a persuasive speech offering a solution to the problem they have identified. An instruction guide, as well as an outline graphic organizer are included for the students' pre-writing.
The final document is a peer critique form for audience members as students present the speeches to the class. Print enough so that students may provide constructive criticism for each of their peers. After each presentation, students should use their peer critique notes as a springboard to offer "hamburger" feedback (strength, weakness, strength) to the speaker.