As mentioned in my previous post, I am currently teaching rhetorical analysis using several speeches I have found online, as well as, Cassius, Brutus, and Antony speeches in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
During this unit, I also have my students write their own speech which I model after the National Forensic League’s original oratory.The students are provided with this assignment at the beginning of the quarter and we progress through the unit we study and analyze speeches from history, literature, and watch sample original oratories on You Tube.
My favorite, by far, is Josh Gad’s “Hoo-Ah!” speech that won him the National Championship in 1999. The students love it as well (because hey, Olaf was once a high school kid too) and he does an exceptional job at using a variety of evidence types to hit on the three pillars of rhetoric – logos, pathos, and ethos.
To prepare them for giving their own speech at the end of the quarter, I surprise them on a random day in the midst of all our analysis and have them deliver a mini-speech on a ridiculous claim or superstition in society. They have to defend or challenge this claim with evidence off the top of their head.
I call this day “Pop Topics“<—– CLICK THE LINK FOR MY LIST OF 35 TOPICS. It a fun way to practice using different types of evidence, appealing to your audience, and getting up in front of your peers on a silly and fun topic.
Above is my daily into class slide that provided the directions for the “Pop Topics” lesson in class (the daily slide is a PowerPoint that I “freeze” on my projector screen at the beginning of the hour everyday when the students come in – I just change out the text every day for different learning goals, warm-up’s, etc.).