Speeches: Argument and Methods

After analyzing speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and presidents William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, class members craft their own argumentative essay in which they make a case for the speaker they think makes the strongest argument to promote racial equality.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Flip parts of the lessons and have class members read and annotate the speeches out of class, saving in-class time for discussion and debate
Classroom Considerations

  • The unit presumes readers are familiar with the conventions of argumentative writing, including stance, claims, counterclaims, reasons, evidence, and methods
  • A protocol for a safe and respectful discussion of highly charged issues must be in place

  • The 115-page packet includes detailed plans, activities, sample essays, links to the speeches, a writing prompt, and a rubric for the writing assignment

  • None