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Students will likely remark that Truth uses mostly her personal experience as evidence. Ask them if they think that deters from the persuasiveness of her speech. Have students consider the validity of her personal experience as evidence for her argument.

The Methods to Persuade chart will support students’ understanding and use of academic language.

* Spend extra time looking at the two imperative sentences. Ask students what they notice about those sentences and what meaning those sentences convey. What is the effect on the reader/listener? Have students contrast those sentences with the sentences where she talks about her experience (“I have…”). Guide students to understand how different sentence structures carry different meaning and have different effects on the listener/reader. Explicit attention to how language structures signal meaning is an important support for English learners.

Structure linked to purpose and audience

As the discussion of Truth’s argument and methods is winding down, have students examine how Truth structures her argument.

Have students create a visual representation of the way Truth structures her argument. This will providesupport for their Write and SpeakLike Truth or Clinton assignment in Lesson 9.

Display an overhead of the text, and with students guiding you, quickly label each paragraph in terms of how it advances Truth’s argument (paragraph 1 = states the issue; paragraphs 2-4 = rebuts counterarguments, paragraph 5 = call to action). Then have students consider why she orders the rebuttals they way she does, considering her audience and the context of this speech. Ask:

  • Why would Truth end with rebutting the counterargument about Christ not being a woman?
  • What is her method for organizing her argument?

Retrospective work: inspiring change through words

Ask students to take a few minutes to write on the following question in their Reader's/Writer's Notebooks before engaging them in a whole group discussion:

  • How does Truth inspire change through words?
  • What would Truth’s opinion be of the Frederick Douglass quote you read on the first day of this unit? Explain.
Use this discussion to informally assess students’ grasp of persuasion, argument and method, andpurpose and audience.

Co-construct the characteristics of effective persuasive speeches

As the discussion about methods, purpose, and audience is winding down, ask students:

  • What did you learn about the characteristics of effective persuasive speeches from reading, rereading, listening to, and discussing “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Chart students’ responses on chart paper titled, Characteristics of Effective Persuasive Speeches. Encourage students to consider delivery techniques as they generate characteristics.

As with the previous discussion, the co-construction of this chart gives you the opportunity toinformally assess students’ grasp of persuasion, argument and method, and purpose and audience.
The Characteristics of Effective Persuasive Speeches should be permanently displayed throughout theduration of the unit. The class will be adding to this chart in later lessons. Keeping this chart displayed is beneficial for all learners, especially Englishlearners.


Read to get the gist: “remarks to the convocation of the church of god in christ”

Write the following comprehension questions on the board or chart paper:

  • What is the speech about? What are the issues?
  • Who is the speaker?
  • What do we know about him? How do we know?
  • What do you know about where and when this speech took place? How do you know?

Tell students they will be responding to these questions in the next lesson. Suggest that they copy the questions into their Reader’s/Writer’s Notebooks and use them to focus the reading they do as homework.

Prepare to discuss: issues for student speeches

Remind students they should be looking for issues that affect a group of people, possibly people in their community (school, neighborhood, city, region), about which they could speak out. The class will discuss these at the beginning of the next lesson.

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Source:  OpenStax, Selected lessons in persuasion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 07, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10520/1.2
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