by Laura Randazzo
9th – 12th Grade
Use Jason Reynolds’ commencement address at Lesley University to show your students the power of a well-constructed speech. In this one-class period activity, students will discuss the techniques of effective public speaking, view Jason Reynolds’ 10-minute speech, and deconstruct/discuss his use of rhetorical devices. Questions focus on audience, the value of storytelling over lecture, and rhetorical application of poetic devices including foreshadowing and symbolism. These print-and-teach materials can serve as a stand-alone lesson or as a supplement to any literature study that focuses on issues of equity and social justice.
Jason Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling author of many works, including Ghost, All-American Boys, and Long Way Down. You can learn more about him at jasonwritesbooks.com.
Want more high-interest speeches for your students to analyze? Check out these materials based on Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech and Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University:
Want podcast-based assignments that’ll help your students develop their listening skills? Check out this bundle of popular Listen & Learn lessons:
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