Overview of The Unit


Overview of the Unit

This unit covers analysis of  public speaking.  Students read and analyze several publicly delivered speeches, observe characteristics of good public speakers, evaluate the use of literary devices in speeches, critically evaluate rhetorical devices and syntax, and consider the impact of effective public speakers.  So many authentic real-world experiences revolve around our ability to speak well and make an impact on the listener.  Our students shy away from these experiences to avoid peer criticism and the vulnerability that comes with speaking in front of a medium size group.  This unit helps students ease into actually having to speech by taking time to view exemplary speakers and in small chunks present their findings to the class.  This unit does not require students to prepare a speech and deliver it.  That may be a logical unit to follow. 

Instructional Goal Statement

Students will analyze a publically delivered speech for effective organization, literary devices, rhetorical strategies, syntax, verbal and non-verbal techniques.  Students will evaluate public speakers and speeches for effectiveness and quality.  All students will be expected to reach a proficient level in all learning targets.

Intended Audience

This unit is designed for a high school English classroom that focuses on American Literature.  While the  unit is written for a heterogeneous group of the students, the lessons are readily adaptable for students with learning challenges and cover various learning styles with the use of technology.    Because the unit assesses visual, auditory and written elements it does push students to explore different aspects of  the multiple intelligences.  

Length of Delivery

Each lesson takes approximately one hour, but as the unit progresses more time may be allotted for exploration and further class discussion.  With seven units, the instruction should take approximately 7- 10 class hours.

Delivery Approach

This unit relies heavily on the use of modeling and allows students gradually to become independent of the teacher in evaluating speeches.  There are many opportunities for students to observe the teacher modeling Reading Apprentiship strategies of talking to the text, text marking, and questioning.  The students then have an opportunity to perform these tasks independently and as a small group.  Technology is used throughout the unit to give students access to ways of making meaning and accessing tools useful to these lessons and others.   The technology also encourages students to work independently in their discovery of the content.  The summative assessment is an authentic evaluation of a publically delivered speech.