Speech/Rhetoric Unit

April 11-May 6, 2005

Mrs. Gann

House B Language Arts


WHAT:        A unit devoted to the Communication:  Oral and Visual component in the Ohio Department of Education Academic Content Standards for Language Arts.  We will be reading, listening to, and presenting speeches, poems, and dialogue from plays or movies in order to learn to communicate effectively.  You will learn to deliver presentations that convey information and persuade or entertain your audience.


WHY:          Too many students are uncomfortable with their own voices.  Being an effective speaker is important as being an effective writer. 


WHEN:        Monday, April 11-Friday, May 6, 2005.


HOW:          We will make ample use of multimedia in this unit.  This includes Internet resources, film, and sound recordings.  This unit is a cross-curriculum unit with social studies.  It is designed to expose you to the historical context in which certain speeches were given and broaden your understanding of past cultural and world events.  Finally, it is a cross-curriculum unit with the performing arts, since we will be using film and poetry as a means to understanding how oral language entertains in an artistic way.


HOW DO I PASS?:           The final assessment for this unit will be in two parts.  Both are due not later than the beginning of class on May 6, 2005.  You cannot pass this unit without passing BOTH PARTS.


          PART I:       A five-paragraph essay on a speech or poem of your choice.  You can use one we cover in class, or you can research your own with the links I give you on www.houseofgann.com.  The format for the paragraph will be given to you today.  This is worth fifty (50) points.  You will be graded on a rubric.


          PART II:      You will present your chosen speech or poem (or part of it, if it is very long) to the class during the week of May 2-6, 2005.  We will schedule everyone during class time.   You will be graded on a rubric.  The presentation is worth fifty (50) points.  More on this later.


We will also have ample in-class activities, including discussion questions (which become homework assignments), quizzes, and small group work.  All quizzes will be announced.  Discussion questions can build your grade, so don’t miss out on them. 




Week I


Monday, April 11: Introduction to the unit.  Homework: KWL chart.  What do you know about the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States?  What do you want to know?  Worth:  10 points, due April 12.


Tuesday, April 12:           First Amendment Powerpoint.   Check KWL’s.  You will need your KWL at the end of the unit, so don’t get rid of it.  Homework:  Study for quiz on First Amendment.


Wednesday, April 13:     Quiz on First Amendment Powerpoint.  Listening activity:  FDR’s Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation, December 8, 1941.  Homework:  Discussion questions on Pearl Harbor Address.


Thursday, April 14:        Go over and check discussion questions on Pearl Harbor address.  Listening activity:  GWB’s 9/11 Address to the Nation, September 11, 2001.  Homework:  Discussion questions on 9/11 Address.


Friday, April 15:    Groupwork.  Comparison of FDR’s Pearl Harbor Speech to GWB’s 9/11 speech.  Homework:  Happy Weekend!


Week II


Monday, April 18:           Listening activity:  MLK, Jr.  “I have a dream,” August 28, 1963.  Homework:  Discussion questions on MLK.


Tuesday, April 19:           Listening activity:  RFK’s Remarks on the Assassination of MLK, Jr., April 4, 1968.  Groupwork.  Comparison of MLK’s speech and RFK’s remarks.  Homework:  Reflection sheet on MLK and RFK, due April 20.


Wednesday, April 20:     Collect reflection sheet.  Listening activity:  Lou Gehrig’s “Farewell to Baseball,” July 4, 1939 and Richard M. Nixon’s “Resignation Speech,” August 8, 1974.  Homework:  Comparison questions, due Thursday, April 21.


Thursday, April 21:        Collect comparison questions.  Listening activity: Barbara Jordan’s 1976 Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention v. Geraldine Ferraro’s 1984 Acceptance of the Vice-Presidential Nomination.  Homework:       Study for quiz.


Friday, April 22:              Quiz over the week’s activities.  Listening activity:  The Gettysburg Address in three voices:  Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, and Johnny Cash.  Homework:  Comparison questions on the Gettysburg Address, due Monday, April 25.


Week III


Monday, April 25:           Collect comparison questions on the Gettysburg Address.  Begin fabulous week of movie speeches and poetry.  Listening activity:  The American President starring Michael Douglas. 


Tuesday, April 26:          Listening activity:  Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon; The Return of the King starring Viggo Mortenson; Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley; Gladiator starring Russell Crowe.  Homework:  Comparison questions.


Wednesday, April 27:     You will need your comparison questions for groupwork.  Group mini-project due at end of class.


Thursday, April 28:        Langston Hughes reading “One Way Ticket,” “Graduation” and “Harlem.”  Henry Rollins reading “Everything.”  Some other fun stuff thrown in.


Friday, April 29:              Begin scheduling presentations.  Mrs. Hanlon and Mrs. Gann have a poetry slam.   Complete KWL chart you did on the first day (hope you didn’t lose it).  Collect KWL at end of class.  If you don’t have it, you don’t have it.


Week IV


Monday, May 2-Friday, May 6:          We will enjoy classmates’ presentations and work on our essays in class.  The more you use class time to your advantage the less you will have to do at home.  Turn your essay in early and save yourself some anxiety.  Essay due May 6, 2005 at beginning of class.


Click here for texts


By CLICKING the above button you will be taken to the texts of all the speeches we are going to cover in class.  If you lose a class handout, get it here!  No excuses for not having your materials!


House B Page

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