For the second Argument Action Project, GCE Juniors students investigated the following guiding question:

What is the most persuasive way to share your dreams?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to hundreds of thousands when he shared his dream with others in 1963. You may get there eventually, but today’s Action project starts smaller. Just over fifty years later, Echoing MLK down through history, you will share your dream for your world by writing and performing it publicly with rhetorical skill. Just as MLK joined tens of other speakers at the March on Washington, join your classmates and youth everywhere participating in Mikva Challenge’s Project Soapbox. All students were invited to join youth from everywhere to participate in the Mikva Challenge, by writing speeches addressing a change they wish to see in the world.

Please find below the online installation we created, featuring the video of the students’ speeches. Please click on TVs to view each speech.

National Standards:

Project Alignment with Common Core ELA Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1a Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1b Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1d Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

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Why do certain speeches “work” and so many others do not? Rhetoric supposes that we use language to persuade, challenge and unite, in all aspects of our lives. To awaken to this reality, you will explore how language has been, and might be used to help …

Learn more about our Rhetoric Course