ENG 3U: Rhetoric and Style

Both classes will consider the impact of rhetoric and style on the audience: the first period class will examine the opening pages of Five People You Meet in Heaven, while the third period class will continue working with Michelle Obama’s speech.

In both classes, students will have to provide specific evidence for their claims. Consider the following format:

  • Start with a bit of analysis
  • Find an example from the text that connects to your analysis
  • Explain the connection between the example and the analysis

Period 1

Each group must lay claim to one of the following topics dealing with events between pages 1-25. Duplication is permitted, but each topic must be chosen:

the birthdays: examine the structure and style of the birthday scenarios. How do they feel different from the rest of the text?

Who is Eddie Maintenance? What kind of person is Eddie? Gather relevant details from the text.

Tension/Suspense: How does Albom create tension in the first 25 pages? Look at word choice, sentence length, and action.

Of Faith and God: Compare the Journey section to the Biblical passages considered yesterday.

Period 4/5

First…a relay! Get your Greek terms ready.

Next, we will consider Michelle Obama’s speech. I will give you a few moments to confer with your group; once you have agreed on your findings from last night, write your work on the board.

We also need to consider the meaning and ideologies inherent in texts. To make this clear to you, I would like you to re-read the text from one of the following perspectives:

Dominant Hegemonic: Envision Michelle Obama’s biggest fan, who supporter of the Democratic party. This person is likely to believe nearly everything that she says.

Negotiated: Think of an undecided voter. This person will balance his/her own beliefs against what Michelle Obama says.

Oppositional: Imagine a strong supporter of the Republican party. He/she would certainly recognize Michelle Obama’s skills as an orator; still, he/she would doubt virtually everything the First Lady argues.


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