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Practice with Rhetorical Appeals—President Obama’s Speech on Immigration Policy

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On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama addressed the nation on immigration policy. Obama was using his executive powers to take deferred action with the purpose of assisting young immigrants. The students who had grown up in the United States without documentation, will be able to attend college or seek employment in this country.

Students will read and annotate the speech and analyze the rhetorical strategies used to convey the President’s message. These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, or AP English Language or Literature class.

Students will view supporting video clips, such as the documentary “Dream Now.” The students will read and listen to various NPR stories on the immigration issue including a debate about Jose Antonio Vargas, the journalist who came out as an “undocumented American.”

There is also an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence, as well as an original argument analysis writing prompt on analyzing Obama’s speech. There are several links to teacher made videos on writing the argument analysis question.

These four lessons prepare students for AP English Language and Literature exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.

In this resource, there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide, there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fishbowl discussion with the rubric. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.

Tags: Socratic Seminar, writing, argument, Pre-AP, critical thinking, immigration American Literature, speeches, Dream Act

Total Pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
4 days
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