Lesson Plan

Reading Nonfiction: Analyzing Joseph McCarthy's "Enemies from Within" Speech

This Reading Nonfiction: Analyzing Joseph McCarthy's "Enemies from Within" Speech lesson plan also includes:

Looking for a lesson that teaches class members how to analyze nonfiction? Use Joseph McCarthy's famous "Enemies from Within" speech as a instructional text. Worksheet questions direct readers' attention to the many historical references and asks them to consider McCarthy's purpose in referring to these people and events. In addition, learners are asked to identify statements of opinion and statements of fact as well as the rhetorical devices used.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Include in a study of McCarthyism and the Red Scare, rhetorical devices, and/or a unit in which The Crucible is the core text
  • After reading the speech, divide the class into groups assigning each group several of the questions; jigsaw the expert groups and have them share their responses
  • To conclude the lesson, have class members research other examples of politicians who have used such techniques as mixing facts and opinions to incite listeners
Classroom Considerations
  • Assumes class members have previously studied rhetorical devices
  • The 12-page packet includes a detailed plan, an annotated copy of the speech for teachers, discussion questions, the text of McCarthy's "Enemies from Within" speech, a template for the homework worksheet, and an answer key
  • The lesson ends without a conclusion