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Great American Speeches: An Argumentative Writing Unit RI. 11-12. 1 Cite strong evidence to support analysis

Great American Speeches:

An Argumentative Writing Unit

RI. 11-12. 1 Cite strong evidence to support analysis RI. 11-12.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in context RI. 11-12.5. Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the

structure RI. 11-12.6. Determine point of view, analyze style, and persuasiveness RI. 11-12.8 Delineate and explicate the reasoning in seminal US texts, for premises, purposes, and arguments RI. 11-12.9 Analyze eighteenth century foundational US documents for themes, purpose, rhetorical features W. 11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims and validate with evidence W. 11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis SL 11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, stance, premises, word choice, and tone L 11-12.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English when writing L 11-12.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific vocabulary

This unit is designed to

introduce ethos, pathos, and logos

incorporate eighteenth century document (speech) analysis and a twenty-first

century speech provide opportunity for contrasting author’s purpose, tone, rhetoric, and appeals

introduce the (TN/PARCC) rubric

explain and demonstrate effective “top paper” writing according to the rubric

require students to write a fully developed argumentative paper

The first phase of this unit is to conduct a lesson on the three persuasive appeals and do several practice activities (for sale in my store). Students will be given the unit study guide that we will fill out as we go through the unit to keep track of key words and concepts (included in this document!).

The second phase is to read and analyze a famous speech in American History. The first speech we will read and discuss is Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention.” After a quick background lesson the American Revolution itself, background on the Virginia Convention, and Patrick Henry himself, we will do a guided reading of the speech. As we read, students are expected to consider the three appeals, but I do not ask them to write anything as we read. After reading, students do a SWSBT summary of the speech. The “somebody” I require them to use are the colonists. (The colonists wanted freedom, but the British kings wouldn’t allow it, so Patrick Henry spoke to advocate the war, so they went to war and won independence.) Then, we go through

© Julie Faulkner, 2012

the key terms and quotes from the story looking at key quotes. I give them some example quotes for the first few terms, and then in discussion I have them give me some. **The ActivInspire flipchart that I use to conduct this portion of the unit is for sale in my store.

The third phase of the unit is to read and analyze President Obama’s “Spirit of Religious Tolerance Speech to the University of Indonesia.” This phase is for the students to “show what they know” by doing a cold read and analysis of Part 1 of the speech followed by a short constructed response to contrast the two speeches. (part 1 of the speech and differentiated worksheets with answers are for sale in my store).

The fourth phase of this unit is for students to write an argumentative essay employing persuasive appeals and rhetorical devices. After doing a lesson to breakdown the rubric, looking at a graphic organizer for argumentative writing, and studying an example of a solid argumentative paper that used citations from two stimuli, students will be assigned a prompt. The prompt asks students to decide whether they agree or disagree with a law against cyberbullying. I give them a news article and an excerpt from my state’s law. The links and the prompts are for sale in my store! Throughout this fourth phase, I do mini lessons on teaching students to incorporate sources (stimuli) information correctly and effectively, creating solid opening and closing paragraphs, as well as focusing on the traits. The key in this phase is to give students plenty of examples and model with them as much as you can. (several items for modeling, introductions, graphic organizers, etc. for sale in my store).

The unit closes by watching the ABC Family movie Cyberbully and a unit test. Students complete a graphic organizer (for sale in my store) while watching the movie to hit on a few more common core standards. We review for the test using my interactive word wall that is free in my store for this unit. For this activity, students work with a partner, take one word down from the wall, define it and give an example. Then they share with the group.

Below I have included the notes I would give to my student as we go through the unit. We don’t complete them in one day. It is a work in progress throughout the week. The document below has the answers included.

Coinciding materials in my TPT store ( include:

Persuasive appeals practice worksheet FREE

Persuasive Appeals Square Watermelon RAFT creative writing $3.00

© Julie Faulkner, 2012

Argumentative Writing Unit: Guided Notes

Persuasive Appeals

  • 1. What Greek philosopher named the appeals ethos, pathos, logos?

  • 2. What appeal uses logic to convince the audience? How?

  • 3. What appeal uses emotion to convince the audience? How?

  • 4. What appeal builds the credibility of the speaker to convince the audience? How?

American Revolutionary War:

  • 1. Dates – 1774-1783

  • 2. Why did it begin?

  • 3. How did the colonists react?

  • 4. What was the colonists’ ultimate goal?

  • 5. VOCAB WORD: convention

  • 6. What was the purpose Virginia Convention?

  • 7. What was the outcome of the war?

© Julie Faulkner, 2012

Patrick Henry’s Speech Background:

  • 1. What historical religious group influenced Henry?

  • 2. What was Henry’s role in government?

  • 3. What was Henry’s position on the war?

  • 4. VOCAB WORD: advocate

  • 5. Date for speech

Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention”

  • 1. Summarize the speech using the SWBST method.

  • 2. VOCAB WORD: author’s purpose

    • a. What is Henry’s purpose?

  • 3. VOCAB WORD: tone

© Julie Faulkner, 2012

  • a. What is Henry’s tone?

  • 4. VOCAB WORD: illusion

  • 5. VOCAB WORD: allusion

  • 6. VOCAB WORD: repetition

  • 7. VOCAB WORD: call-to-action

© Julie Faulkner, 2012