I’m a big fan of using real world, “in the moment” resources in the classroom so I couldn’t ignore Oprah’s recent Golden Globes speech to help students to develop their rhetorical analysis. Here are a few ideas you could try if you choose to use the speech as a resource for developing rhetorical analysis:
Discuss #Metoo and create a class mind map to capture the ideas.
- What makes her opening story so powerful?
- What is interesting about the structure of the line “I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that”?
- What does the inclusion of the story of Recy Taylor add to the speech?
- How does she flatter her audience of the people in the room?
- How does she connect with the audience watching on TV?
- What examples of pathos can you find in the speech? What effect do they have?
- What do you think she means when she says “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have”?
- Discuss the impact of the metaphor of “A new dawn” which she uses, and the language surrounding the idea.
The speech has created a media frenzy about the possibility of Oprah running for President of the United States in 2020. Write a persuasive speech which argues whether she should or should not run.
Revisit the #Metoo ideas from the starter activity. How does the speech relate to the ideas from this discussion?
Here’s the speech in full:
Here’s a link to the transcript:
I hope you find some of these useful. If nothing else I think it’s a brilliant speech for our students to watch.