Speech Writing and Memorial Design

Grade Levels
8th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
25 pages
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Want a lesson that makes learning relevant for Veterans Day or Memorial Day? Let students honor veterans and other heroes with this lesson and speech writing activity after a close reading of the speech “The Gettysburg Address" (or other selected speech). This lesson uses mentor texts as models for student writing.

In pre-reading activities, students journal about memorials they have visited and take a virtual field trip (via PowerPoint) to memorials around the world including the Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, African American Civil War Memorial, Gandhi Memorial, and Flight 93 commemoration field, along with many others. While they view the PowerPoint presentation, they record their observations of the monuments on a graphic organizer.

Next, they read contextual information via online links about the Battle of Gettysburg and record details from their reading. The lesson continues as they read the speech, identify parallelism, and answer post-reading questions to check their comprehension.

After these activities, students choose people or events for their own memorial designs and dedication speeches. They incorporate their own use of parallelism in their speeches and are guided through the writing process step-by-step.

This zip file with an 18-page PDF file and 7-slide PowerPoint includes the following:

  • explicit lesson plan with identified Common Core ELA Anchor Standards
  • virtual field trip graphic organizer
  • virtual field trip PowerPoint
  • pre-reading and contextual reading guides
  • text of speech
  • graphic organizers
  • memorial & speech assignments with suggested evaluation criteria
  • peer review handout
  • key
  • student sample

If you like this lesson, you may be interested in these other lessons that use mentor texts and close reading:

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I've Been to the Promised Land

Close Reading Paired Passages Bundle

Meaningful and Memorable English Language Arts by © OCBeachTeacher

All rights reserved by author.

Limited to use by purchaser only.

Group licenses available.

Not for public display.

Total Pages
25 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance in a style that responds to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.


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