Recipe for an Inaugural Address

An inaugural address represents the first moments of a new beginning. Using John F. Kennedy's speech as a model for guided practice, groups examine the ingredients of an inaugural address. Individuals then repeat the analysis process with the addresses of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members use the provided link to access other speeches provided by the University of California Santa Barbara Project
  • For those classes that have studied rhetorical devices, have groups locate those devices in the speech
Classroom Considerations
  • Although designed for middle schoolers, the activity is appropriate for high school classes as well
  • The resource includes a video of Kennedy's speech, links to Lincoln's, Roosevelt's, and Reagan's addresses, and a source for all presidential inaugural addresses
  • Only minimal directions are included for how to analyze the elements of the speeches