Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments

A speaker, a message, an audience. After analyzing these elements in Queen Elizabeth's speech to the troops at Tilbury, groups analyze how other speakers use an awareness of events, and their audience to craft their arguments. Individuals then select a speech from the provided list and analyze how various rhetorical devices help the speaker influence the audience.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Consider beginning the lesson with a video of King's "I Have a Dream" speech
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Internet connection to access interactives
  • Arrange research time in the library or computer lab
  • Most effective if class members have previously studied rhetorical devices and argumentative writing

  • Links to related lessons designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12 that feature other speeches are included
  • The packet includes background information for teachers, a step-by-step plan, links to the speeches, and an essay rubric

  • None