Students will analyze notable bad speeches from political figures. Students will then take on the role of speech editor to rewrite or edit the speech to make it successful. They will compare with a successful speech.
To compare and contrast presidential speeches.
- Students will analyze primary documents.
- Practice debate and public speaking skills.
- H1T1D: Using an inquiry lens, develop compelling questions about United States history post c. 1870 to determine helpful resources and consider multiple points of views represented in the resources.
- P5T1A: Using a United States’ historical lens, describe how peoples’ perspectives shaped the sources/artifacts they created.
- H1T6D: Evaluate how the ability to access and distribute information affects individuals, groups, industry, and governments in the latter 20th and early 21st centuries.
- Franklin Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy Speech: https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/day-of-infamy/images/infamy-address-1.gif
- Andrew Johnson’s Vice Presidential Inaugural Address: https://www.nytimes.com/1865/03/20/archives/the-vicepresidents-speech-at-the-inauguration.html
- Jimmy Carter Malaise Speech: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/activities/jimmy-carter-malaise-speech-july-15-1979
- Jimmy Carter Fireside Chat Speech: https://www.nytimes.com/1977/02/03/archives/the-text-of-jimmy-carters-first-presidential-report-to-the-american.html
- Howard Dean Victory Speech: https://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/19/politics/campaigns/howard-deans-remarks-to-his-supporters.html
- George HW Bush Chicken Kiev Speech: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Chicken_Kiev_speech
- George W Bush Mission Accomplished Speech: https://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=79503&page=1
- As a full class, students will be provided Franklin Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy Speech. They will see the original speech and the edits made by Roosevelt. Students will be asked why the changes were made and what the intents of Roosevelt were at the time. Students will also be asked to analyze the tone and pacing of Roosevelt’s delivery of the speech.
- Students will then be divided into groups of 3 to 4 students. Each group will be provided a notable failed speech. Each group will first identify why the speech was a bad speech. Then students will revise or rewrite the speech to make the message a successful delivery by the politician. This can include changes in the text, instructions as to the tone or inflection in delivery of the speech, and/or shortening or lengthening of the speech.
- One student from each group will be selected to deliver a portion of the speech. The entire speech will not be read, but instead the most important part of the speech as identified by the student group will deliver the most impactful portion of the speech.
- This activity will only require a participation grade. Students that complete each portion of the activity will receive full credit.