Syllabus and Schedule
School year class: 12 weekly lessons in total. 1 lesson per week. 2 hours per lesson.
Summertime class: 10 consecutive lessons in total. 1 lesson per week. 2 hours per lesson.
Thesis Selection – We will explore how a speaker’s passion can motivate audience engagement, and utilize our own passions to select an appropriate topic for our speeches, as well as a thematic thesis for our argumentation.
Research and Evidence – We will explore what makes for the best source of evidence, in addition to the various types of rhetorical evidence styles. We will also learn how to identify the cause-and-effect relationships present in our topics.
Building the narrative – We will focus on using what we’ve learned about our topics to drive the narrative we will construct for our audience.
Solutions – No that we have better established the narrative of our argument and its internal cause and effect relationships, we can finally begin exploring and introducing potential solutions. We will learn the difference between direct action and indirect action and how to motivate an audience.
Finishing Touches – We’ll explore ways in which we can solidify our speeches and make them more effective at communicating our ideas to our audience through the use of repetition, transitional phrases, visual aides, and established consistent themes.
Presentations – Every member of the class will be afforded the opportunity to present their completed speeches for the whole class.
Values and Value Criterions – In this class we will switch gears and begin exploring persuasive speaking as it applies to debate. We will explore the similarities between the structures of a debate case and the structures of a persuasive speech.
Argumentation – We will explore the basic “claim, warrant, impact” structure of a debate argument and learn about the main forms that debate arguments take and how they can support or diminish a thesis.
Cross-Examination – We will learn about the concept of Cross-Examination, in which we will utilize effective lines of questioning to destabilize and defeat our opponent’s arguments.
Rebuttal – We will learn about the differences between a rebuttal and a counter-rebuttal, and how to defend our own arguments from attacks by our opponents, as well as how to attack an opponent’s arguments.
Crystallization – We will discover ways to weigh the values of our cases against those of our opponents, and how to decide the victor in a debate. Additionally, we will learn how to utilize these weighing mechanisms to our advantage to ensure that we come out victorious.
Practice Debates – We will conclude the course by holding practice debates in which we will combine and utilize the concepts we have learned about persuasive speaking and debate by holding class debates in which everyone will have the opportunity to write, defend, and argue a case that they have prepared.