Lesson Plans

Rhetoric Exercise


Who:  Mark Smith
What:  Murdered
When:  10:37pm; Saturday, May 21st                 
Where:          Parking garage
How:     Multiple stab wounds





-- Give students the above information on pieces of paper, each of which asks them to take ten minutes to write a “report” about that information—one student from the perspective of a newspaper reporter, someone delivering a eulogy, a detective, a prosecutor.  Do not let the students share information, and distribute the different perspectives around the class (i.e. Billy, writing as a prosecutor, should not know that Jane is writing a eulogy.)

-- Read results aloud, and discuss rhetorical differences. 

Workshopping - Evaluating the Introductory Paragraphs of an Essay

Looking at an essay by one of the students:

  1. Read the introduction.  Is it too general?  too specific?  just right?
  2. Read the second (and third) paragraphs; are they what you would expect to find based on what the introduction establishes?
  3. How might this paper continue?  How might it end?
  4. Proofread and edit for grammar, punctuation, and flow (transitions).

Debate and Argument

This is a good way to get students to understand the thinking and organization of proofs that must precede writing.

Home Schooling vs. Standard Schooling

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling and standard schooling.
  2. Divide the students into teams for a debate.  Each team should choose two presenters and one student for the rebuttal.
  3. After the debate, assign an essay on the topic. The student must state a preference for one system or the other, and must bring arguments to support that position.