Pearl Harbor Activity #2: Why Do Words Matter?

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This Pearl Harbor Activity #2: Why Do Words Matter? activity also includes:

Words matter! That's the big idea behind an activity that asks scholars to replace words in FDR's "Day of Infamy" speech with synonyms. They then listen to a recording of President Roosevelt's address and compare his version to their own.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Rather than using the worksheet, provide class members with the full text of the speech, have them highlight rhetorical devices, persuasive techniques, and emotive language in the text
Classroom Considerations
  • The second activity in a seven-part Pearl Harbor series
  • Requires copies of the text of the "Day of Infamy" speech and the "Message to the Congress" worksheet
  • Participants need access to dictionaries
  • Presumes pupils have previous knowledge of rhetorical devices, propaganda techniques, and persuasive language
  • The activity underscores the importance diction, syntax, and connotative language
  • An extension activity offers learners a chance to repeat the activity with other famous speeches
  • None