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The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit

The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
The State of the Union: Non-Fiction Activity Bundle/Unit
Product Description
The State of the Union is no longer a lecture; it is a social media conversation. This customizable unit safely brings the spoken and written non-fiction study of the SOTU into your classroom by reminding students that we are studying LANGUAGE, not politics, and that this tradition is one of the most eloquent pieces of our democracy.

INTERACT: High on visual engagement and student participation, this mini-unit quickly takes your ELA or Social Studies/Government classes to a literacy-rich set of conversations that evaluate the transcripts, video clips, history, and social media aspects of the SOTU.
ADAPT: This “mix and match” unit is FULLY adaptable for the secondary grades 6-12; the Teacher’s Guide provides the standards, “I can” statements, and modifications needed to match the unit to where your students are. Pick and choose the lessons and readings that best fit your needs!
PLAN: Short on time? The Teacher’s Guide addresses how to adapt this mini-unit to take place in as few as 2 days and as many as 4-5. Also, the “during” activities work equally well if students complete it live at home during the speech, OR watching clips in class later on.

This 40-page, 3-video, 27-slide download includes the following Before, During, and After activities to “mix and match”:

• Background knowledge lesson teaches the history and purposes of the State of the Union, including how the speech is drafted/created. Either watch my “flipped” video OR use my PPT to teach the lesson yourself! (Includes video, PPT, guided notes, and answer key.)
• Short Research project: students frontload by identifying what this year’s “hot button” issues are that should appear in the speech, and how they currently feel about those issues.
• Textual Analysis Lesson (Close reading): Read, annotate, and analyze a portion of the 2013 SOTU (about education reform) to discuss content, style, and effectiveness. (Includes rubric and sample text annotation/answer key)
• Characteristics of Political Speechwriting Lesson (Close Reading): Read and analyze the beginning and end of the 2013 SOTU to note writing craft and characteristics. (Includes annotated answer key and an exit ticket)
• Compare/Contrast Lesson (Close Reading): Read, annotate, and compare/contrast the first SOTU by George Washington in 1790 with the 2013 speech by Barack Obama. (Includes comprehension questions that can serve as assessment or exit ticket)

• Viewing Guide handout: Students write faux “tweets” of direct quotes, observe the speaking skills used by the President, and analyze if the speech is effective for the purposes of informing and inspiring.

• Socratic Seminar: use the provided peer feedback sheets and overhead PPT to guide students in four different rounds of whole-class discussion, even if they have no prior experience!
• Literacy Quiz: assess vocabulary, speaking standards, and close reading of a section of the 2014 speech. (Includes answer key)

In addition to these ready-to-go handouts and media, the Teacher’s Guide also includes a list of 10 other activities you could conduct to challenge or differentiate the unit to your class!

Last File Update: January 2nd, 2015.

***BONUS: Each year I will update the SOTU project with that year’s information. You will be able to re-download this product for free each year to get the most up-to-date version.

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My other SPEAKING materials:
Intro to Debate Unit, which culminates in partner debates in front of small groups
"15 Minutes of Fame" Public Speaking Activity, individual creative speeches imitating real-world genres
Grammar Video Project, in which students make informative videos to teach grammar
• My Digital Poetry Slam project, making audio recordings or live presentations of poems

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Total Pages
57 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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