Thursday, 18 June 2015

Teaching Rhetorical Devices

The first time I taught an Advanced Placement course, it was the English Language and Composition course.  It can be intimidating, and I was the first person in our school to teach the course.  I remember looking for great materials to teach rhetorical language, which was something that my students really struggled with.  Through the experience, I learned that it was important to me to put a greater focus on the use of language in all of my courses, whether for advanced or struggling students.  I was excited to come across this edutopia blog by Todd Finley, which looks at using authentic 21st Century texts to teach students how to write with ethos, pathos and logos.

After giving students some background information on Aristotle and the definition of rhetorical devices, students practice using ethos, pathos and logos by creating "Aristotelian Advertisements".  One of the examples that Finley provides is an advertisement for milk.  Other suggestions are to have students pull a random item from their book bag or to create a book trailer using rhetorical language.

(Photo credit:
How might this jug of milk evoke emotion in your audience?

Food for thought... what are some other ways to make "old" ideas come alive for students?

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