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Analyzing the Rhetorical Strategies in a Famous Speech

Teacher Candidate _Jennifer Herscher____________________ Date_02/11/2018____________________

School _______________________________ Grade/Subject _10/English_________________
Lesson Topic _ Rhetorical Strategies _________________________


Students will:
 analyze a speech for rhetorical devices and their purpose (tone, diction, repetition, hyperbole, etc.)
 identify an author’s/speaker’s purposeful manipulation of language
 identify elements of argument within a speech (claims, the appeals [logos, pathos, ethos], fallacies, etc.)
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing any fallacious reasoning
or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective
choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They
draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of
word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual
features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts,
people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
Overall Time - 50 minute lesson
Time Frame - 20 min. teacher intro and discussion
15 min. student activity in pairs
15 min. student led discussion and closure
Teacher led discussion
Pair activity
Student led discussion
Prepared questions
Read the speech aloud for auditory learners and visually impaired students
Create a graphic organizer for the Rhetorical Triangle for visual learners
If time allows, ask for volunteers to act out select parts of the speech for kinesthetic learners
1. Begin the lesson by asking students what needs to be present in order for a speech to occur. Though the
question may seem puzzling—too hard, or too simple—at first. Students will eventually identify, as
Aristotle did, the need for a speaker, a message, and an audience.
2. The class should discuss audience and the importance of identifying the audience for speeches as context,
since they occur in particular moments in time and are delivered to specific audiences. Draw the
Rhetorical Triangle (Aristotelian Triad) on the board and discuss the balance of the three elements (ethos,
logos, pathos).
3. Next distribute copies of Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the troops at Tilbury and use the speech and its
historical context as a model for identifying the audience and how it influences the speaker’s choice of
rhetorical strategies. Provide a bit of background information on the moment in history.
4. Then, in pairs, have the students go through Queen Elizabeth’s speech and highlight the rhetorical devices
in the speech and note the purpose for each one. Adjust the level of guidance you provide, depending on
your students' experiences with this type of analysis.
5. Regroup and discuss the audience and the author’s manipulation of the audience. Consider posing
questions such as
o This was a successful speech. Why?
o Elizabeth uses all of the appeals – logos, pathos, and ethos – to convince all of her listeners to
fight for her from the loyal follower to the greedy mercenary. How?
o The tone shifts throughout the selection. Where? But more importantly, why?
Collect the students’ copies of the speech on which they highlighted the rhetorical devices as well as the notes
they took regarding the purpose of those devices. Assess their work for completion, their ability to identify
rhetorical devices, and their level of comprehension regarding the purpose of rhetoric and language manipulation.
 White board/markers or chalkboard/chalk
 Historical background information:
 Printouts of Queen Elizabeth’s speech:
 Students materials: highlighters, pencils