How Did He Do That? Backwards Speech Design (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT evaluate a speaker's strategy and purpose by listening to speeches for topic and purpose and using these models to develop their own inquiry questions.

Big Idea

Looking at a final product to determine how a speaker got there is a good first step to developing our own strategies as speakers.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading. I will read with the students today.

Backwards Speech Design: Developing Inquiry Questions

15 minutes

Our goal with this persuasive speaking unit this year is to address both the speaking and researching standards, specifically the standard that asks students to conduct research based on self-generated questions (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7). To do this, we are changing the structure by taking away any limitations on topics and make this a true inquiry process this year. Students will have to develop inquiry questions based on a topic of their choice and then research and create persuasive speeches based on these questions.

I will be co-teaching this lesson with my librarian. She is amazing and many of these materials were developed by her after conversing with me and other 10th grade ELA teachers in my building. The persuasive speeches are a district common assessment for 10th grade, so we are working hard to make sure that all of our students get a similar experience here in building.

But I digress...

Once we have finished our reading time, we will ask the students to pull out their notes from yesterday's analysis of Zach Wahl's speech. We will ask them to brainstorm and share their ideas about his topic and what questions he was trying to answer for himself and/or his audience. We will use this brainstorm to point out the difference between researching a topic and researching using questions that allow for multiple interpretations of findings. We are hoping that they will see the difference between general research and research for persuasion.

We will hand out an inquiry question info sheets and talk to them about moving from topics to questions. We will ask them to use these sheets to take notes on the speeches they will listen to the remainder of the period. 

Speech Analysis

25 minutes

Once we've reviewed the inquiry questions and connected the process to Zach Wahl's speech, we will spend the remainder of the period listening to a variety of TED talks.

I LOVE TED talks and there are so many to chose from. We will hopefully be able to get through these four in class today:

I chose these particular speeches for a couple of reasons. One, I thought they would be engaging topics for the students to listen to. Two, they are shorter than the average TED talk. Three, the have pretty explicit questions, so I hope the students will see the link between topic, purpose, strategy and question. The last speech is actually a slam poem. I am including it to show a contrast to the other styles and to show a different style of persuasive speaking.

We will pause after each speech to discuss topic and inquiry questions. I will ask students to brainstorm with me what they think each speaker's inquiry question might have been. I will also ask them to evaluate the rhetorical strategies, purpose and general presentation each speaker uses so that we have some vocabulary for talking about effective speaking later in the unit (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3).

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

For the last few minutes of class, we will recap our discussion for the day and I will ask them to start brainstorming topics that they might be interested in researching.