Rhetoric: Persuasion in Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking - AoPS Academy Bellevue Campus

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Rhetoric: Persuasion in Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking

Academic Year Language Arts

This class is designed for advanced learners in Grades 7-9. In this class, students become rhetorical masters of persuasion and argumentation. By the end of the year, students will have debated Socrates, planned their own businesses, solved a mystery through rational evidence-building, and run an election. This class will provide a strong foundation in critical reading and analysis, and would provide an advantage for students interested in competitive debate, student government, or entrepreneurship.

In the first unit, students study a dialogue — in this context, a philosophical conversation and commentary — written by Plato, the grandfather of Western thought. Using techniques originally developed in ancient Greece, students build a strong foundation for rhetorical mastery. The unit closes with students writing their own philosophical dialogues.

In the second unit, students learn how classical rhetoric applies in the world of business and marketing. Students deepen their understanding of persuasive techniques by studying successful marketing strategies. Students end the unit by using their rhetorical skills to devise a marketing campaign for a fictional business.

In the third unit, students step into the shoes of the most famous detectives in literature to learn how to build a strong body of evidence and solve the case through advanced literary and rhetorical analysis. Students finish the unit by putting pen to paper to write their own mysteries.

In the final unit, students enter the world of politics by campaigning to be President of AoPS. They study how politicians have used rhetoric throughout history and then take the debate stage themselves. The year ends with their victory and concession speeches.

What happens in class?

Each unit of Rhetoric: Persuasion in Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking begins with an exploratory period in which students learn new writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. They are encouraged to cultivate their abilities as the unit progresses and they encounter more advanced rhetorical forms. Each unit ends with a final project that is developed through a structured process of brainstorming, drafting, revising, and performing.

Each day of class will include a blend of the following types of activities:

Homework

Students should expect to spend about 60–90 minutes on homework every week. Homework will include: practicing skills learned in class through questions in the Homework Tab, long-term writing assignments connected to the unit project, and assigned reading in one of the four quarterly textbooks.

Teacher Feedback

Students will receive direct, oral feedback from their teacher during class on skills and projects. This in-person feedback is key in helping students revise and improve their writing while they are working on the unit projects. At the end of each writing project, students can expect to receive extensive written feedback from their teacher.

Schedule in 2020-21

All times Pacific.
Sunday
Aug 30 - Jun 13
2:45 - 4:30 PM
Sunday
Aug 30 - Jun 13
2:45 - 4:30 PM
Zachary Kissinger
WAITLIST
Tuesday
Sep 1 - Jun 8
4:30 - 6:15 PM
Tuesday
Sep 1 - Jun 8
4:30 - 6:15 PM
Zachary Kissinger
WAITLIST
"My children have been students of AoPS Academy for several years now. The staff is very good at identifying and encouraging high achieving students to attain their fullest potential. The instructors engage kids to solve tough math problems, and push them to think logically and come up with unique solutions, instead of following a memorized formula. I have witnessed many classes where students are given the opportunity to suggest multiple ways of approaching the same problem. This has really helped my children develop independent learning skills and a stronger foundation in mathematics. The staff truly care for each and every student’s growth. Every child gets an abundance of individual attention. Programs such as the math competition classes, MATHCOUNTS Trainer Contest, and Short Story Contest really challenge the kids to reach up to the next level. The language arts classes like Debate & Public Speaking and College Essay Writing provide a much higher quality of education for their students. Thank you so much for being such a valuable resource for my children. "
-Usha D.
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