Day 63: Intro to Year-Long Research Project

Today, we took a break from all things familiar and talked about causes, speeches, and rhetoric in preparation for the year-long research project, which will culminate in a speech.

1. Students wrote down the first five words or phrases that came to mind when they heard the word, “Cause,” as in “fighting for the cause” not as in “cause and effect.” We discussed various responses.

2. We watched a public service announcement about global warming:

As we watched the first time, half of the class thought about and wrote down the purpose of the speech and half thought about the intended audience of the speech. We decided that the purpose was to raise money and educate about global warming and polar bear. The intended audience was adults with credit cards, people who care about animals, and perhaps children.

As we watched for a second time, half of the class thought about and wrote down word choice (key words, buzz words, statistics) and half wrote down the structure of the speech (how does it start? what’s in the middle? how does it end?). Again, we discussed.

3. We watched a second video about music in public education. This time around students either worked alone, with a partner, or with a group. In some classes this counted as a quiz grade.

4. Your causes. Students received this handout detailing some aspects of the Year-Long Research Project (download here: Project Overview). I asked students to brainstorm in the second set of blanks some causes they care about and would like to convince others to care about. This should be important to you because you will be working on it all year. Here are some ideas and examples of causes if you’re stuck: Click here causes.

HW: Pick your top cause from your brainstorming and be ready to share when you return from break.

Absentees: Watch the above videos, take notes on Purpose, Word Choice, Audience, and Structure, and download files. Select a cause.