Theodore Roosevelt Speech

Unit 6:  Creative Non Fiction – Famous Speeches and Self-Reliance

Objectives: Students will understand the essential elements that make a power speech by analyzing J.F.K.’s inaugural speech.

Aim:  How does J.F. K use various rhetorical devices to make his speech the most memorable one?



Do now: Listen to the speech , Ronald Reagan’s June 6, 1984 commemoration of the anniversary of D-Day (Read the transcript of the speech)

Mini Lesson:

Why do we study history? How do we interpret historical events or evidence? How do we make connections between the past and present?

How does Theodore Roosevelt’s life connect to a universal truth or speaks to a current issue of my concern?

Independent Practice-

While listening to Reagan’s speech, pay attention to the following-

  1. How does he narrate the past?
  2. How does he cite historical evidence to support his claim?
  3. What claims does he  make?
  4. Howe does he use specific anecdote to bring out pathos?
  5. How does he use history to address the issues at present , such as Soviet’s nuclear threats, cold war and the US relationship with the Allies?

Homework: Continue to do research to narrow down your choice. Bring some evidence in to show why you have made your decision of focusing on a specific topic. Use resources provided in the unit.

Lesson 2

Objectives: Student will make a decision on the final topic about the speech by doing the preliminary research.

Aim: Why are you interested in the topic? So far what information have you gathered?

Do Now: Share with your partner the topic you will write your speech about. Explain why you have made the choice.

Mini Lesson-

Do now: Listen to the speech (Video of the speech) and follow the script along the way.

Mini Lesson: Introducing SPAM ( ACRONYM)

Speaker: John F. Kennedy

  • 35th President
  • Roman Catholic
  • Became President during the Cold War
  • His simple diction was easily understood by Americans


  • Introduce his tactics for presidency
  • Vividly explain the world at that point in American history
  • To motivate Americans to defend freedom and Democracy
  • Promote patriotism as well as international support


  • Not only citizens of America, but citizens of the world
  • In the beginning of the speech, JFK addresses the previous Presidents and Vice Presidents
  • JFK advises Communists to see the benefits of Democracy


  • Speech was given at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
  • Televised, which allowed JFK to be more direct with the audiece and make a good first impression as President

Rhetorical Devices
Antithesis: Contrast or opposition which is emphasized by parallelism

  • Example: “Symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning- signifying renewal, as well as change.”
  • Purpose: To educate the reader of more than one possibility and accommodate JFK’s small mandate
  • Effect: Pathos

Allusion: An indirect reference to any person, place, or thing

  • Example: “…the command of Isaiah- to ‘undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free’.”
  • Effect: Ethos- Builds credibility (If it’s in the Bible, it must be true)
  • Example: “…year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation’…”
  • Effect: Readers believe that we are constantly living out God’s plans

Asyndeton: The omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used.

  • Example: “…we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
  • Purpose: To stress importance and create a strong emotional effect
  • Effect: After reading this statement, other countries will know that the U.S. will do anything to preserve its freedom

Anaphora: Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of the line

  • Example: “To those old allies… we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends.” “To those new states… we pledge our word…”. “To those people in huts… we pledge our best efforts to help them…”.
  • Purpose: To draw attention and elucidate that JFK will be giving and caring to all types of people
  • Effect: Pathos, or an emotional effect because the reader feels obligated to take part.

Hortative Sentence: Exhorts, advice, calls to action.

  • Example: “So let us begin anew…”. “Let both sides explore what problems unite us…”.
  • Purpose: To acknowledge many options and politely persuade
  • Effect: After reading Kennedy’s list of his plans, he convinces the reader to take part

Rhetorical Question: A question to which no answer is expected.

  • Example: “Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind?” “Will you join in that historic effort?”
  • Purpose: To strengthen the argument and to provoke a response
  • Effect: The reader believes that they, like everyone else, are obligated to participate

Chiasmus: The second half of a phrase reverses the order of the first half.

  • Example: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
  • Purpose: To concentrate attention on the main point of a passage by placing it at the central turning point.
  • Effect: Draws meaningful contrasts and aids in memorization

 Rhetoricial Appeals
Ethos: Appealing the the author’s credibility

  • Example: “For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed…”
  • Effect: Kennedy is now credible an hopes to continue the work of past Presidents.
  • Example: “I do not shrink from this responsibility- I welcome it.”
  • Effect: Kennedy has a positive attitude on the situation and has America’s best interests at heart.

Pathos: Appealing to the reader’s emotions

  • Kennedy’s varied use of rhetorical devices makes Pathos the most represented appeal.
  • The use of Biblical allusions, anaphoras, and rhetorical questions convince the reader to side with Kennedy.
  • Because of his low mandate, Kennedy used antithesis to appeal to and represent the thoughts of everyone in America.

Logos: Logic

  • Example: “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course.”
  • Effect: Logical cause and effect- If citizens show their loyalty and devotion to America, then Democracy will be preserved.


  • Kennedy touches on “The American Dream” when he speaks of the ongoing challenge of stopping Communism and working with other countries (“Let us begin anew…”)
  • “…and this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days; nor in the life of this administration; nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
  • These powerful lines express the hope, effort, and time that must be contributed to reach the American Dream.

Homework: Read the speech by Theodore Roosevelt at the Nobel Prize award ceremony ( What kind of man do you see in T. Roosevelt from the speech? Continue to do research on the topic of your interests.

Lesson 3:

Objectives: Students will retell stories about Theodore Roosevelt based on the topics they have selected.

Aim: How do we remember Roosevelt?

Activity 1: Each student will have three minutes to tell the tale about Roosevelt.

Activity 2: How do Roosevelt’s stories inspire you in general? Which one inspires you the most? Why? Why do you believe Roosevelt’s stories can still inspire people to do common good for America?


  1. What was T.R. belief on the issue?
  2. What did he do?
  3. What obstacle did he face and overcome?
  4. WHAT was the result ( i.e. establishing the National Park Service)?
  5. What can you learn from his experience?

Homework:  Continue to do research about Roosevelt. Identify one issue in our society that you feel relates to the history. How are they connected? What would Roosevelt say or do if he were still alive? What advice would he give?

Lesson 3:


  • Students explore a variety of sources, points of view in accessing evidence pertaining to an issue or problem.
  • Students draw comparisons across eras, noting similarities and differences in issues of the early 20th century and the early 21st century.

Aim: How do we make connections between historical narrative and present issues?

Do Now: Share the 3-minute narrative about Theodore Roosevelt with a partner.


Mini Lesson

How to reaccount a historical narrative for a speech and select details for the narrative?

Re-account historical details-

  • Do as much research as you can to gather details about the topic.
  • What details stand out the most for you and why?
  • Pick out the details that moved you and you want to share with an audience.
  • Recreate the narrative by describing the setting( what prompt T.R. to care about the issue-time and place and circumstances), what events surround the issue, what speech did he make, obstacles he overcame and results).  The details should indicate logical connections.
  • Does the same issue still exist? How is the issue described today? What inspiration had T.R.’s legacies help you see the same issue today?

Connect the past with present-


TR’s era – Influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.
– Gentleman’s Agreement dealing with Japanese immigration
Today – Influx of immigrants from Mexico
– Various proposals for amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Conservation: TR’s era – Resistance to presidential efforts to set aside western lands for National Forests, Reclamation Projects, Game & Bird
Preserves, etc.
Today – Efforts to reopen western public lands to development.
Balancing Labor with Big Business and Consumerism:
TR’s era – Mediating Anthracite Coal Strike
– Addressing consumer concerns for safer food.
Today – Balancing American labor demands with corporate need
to keep down labor costs by sending jobs overseas.
– Renewed concerns for food, especially meat, safety.
Anti-Trust Issues: TR’s era – 45 suits to break trusts that set prices/stop competition.
Today – Concerns and lawsuits, especially directed toward tele-
communications and computer technology corporations to
oppose domination of industry by a few companies.
Defining America’s Role in the World: TR’s era – Presidential use of mediation, international arbitration and
courts in dealing with international problems.
Today – America’s relationship with the international community,
especially with regard to the United Nations, the
World Court, the international arbitration of problems, etc.

Tracing TR’s Vision:
Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for the United States is reflected in his Progressive Platform for the 1912 presidential election. Although Roosevelt lost that election to Woodrow Wilson, many of TR’s platform goals were enacted into law under various administrations over the next fifty years. Ask students to use various sources to determine if/when (and under whose administration) the following 1912 Roosevelt platform articles were enacted.

Independent Practice:

Use the guidelines to continue the collection of details about T.R. on a specific topic.

Homework: Continue writing your narrative. What kind of man and leader is T.R. based on your research? How has he inspired you ( making a personal connection)? How can he continuously inspire others to be the kind of man he was? How can we follow T.Rs legacy and create our own?

Lesson 4: 

Objectives: Students will identify the specific issues  existing in today’s society , which existed during T.R’S era as well through research.

Aim: Which social issue concerns you the most and why?

Do Now: Go over the research you have done, which issue concerns you the most? How does that connect you personally? What kind of stand would you like to take?

Mini Lesson

Introducing TR as a conservationist


  • Find a quotation by T.R. that illustrates a point about the issue of your concern. Why?
  • Analyze the narrative about T.R. Is every detail included relevant? Does it move you in a way? Will it move your audience ( establish  a patho)
  • What would T.R. say or act if he were to face the issue again?
  • Would you do the same or hope to do the same? Why?

Independent Practice-

  1. Continue to do research to refine your issue and selection of details for the narrative.
  2. Conferencing

Homework: Write the 1st draft of the speech. BE SURE TO INCLUDE-

  • Begin the speech with a question to grab the audience attention OR use a quotation by T.R. Or why should we talk about T.R. today a century later?
  • Give a one or two sentence overall review of T.R.’S accomplishments before transitioning to the narrative
  • Explain why the accomplishment of all accomplishments is the most outstanding to you.
  • Describe the narrative focusing on your topic and issue- details, speeches and actions- highlighting on his ” fight”  or ” battle” for what he believed in or his vision for the future( recreate a tableau or scene that illustrates his legacy). Almost include specific speech by T.R. ( can be a phrase or specific term TR had used to address the issue).
  • Yet, today… ( transition to the present)
  • Describe vividly( in details)  today’s issue in comparison to T’R’s era.
  • What is the connection between the past and present( claim and analysis parts)?
  • How does TR’S legacy shed light on the issue?
  • What can we do as 21st century generation to continue with his fight and legacy?

Lesson 5: Defining American’s role in the world (

Objectives: Students will learn the fundamental elements in writing a historic narrative.

Aim: How do we rewrite historical events into a narrative?

Do Now: What’s the difference between historical events and historic narrative?

Mini Lesson: Using historical events to write a historic narrative

Writing a Historical Narrative 

Independent Practice-

Use the strategies to revise your speech.

  • State your purpose of your speech ( T.R)
  • Generate three claim statements that all relate to your purpose
  • Select appropriate and accurate details to illustrate your thesis ( organize your events into a narrative,or use anecdotes)
  • Make a list of events you may use and direct quotations that can be incorporated into your own speech
  • Establish logo: the way you organize your claims( order of importance or spatial order)
  • Establish pathos: making connections with your audience
  • Ethos: use a quotation by a famous person to back you your purpose ( thesis)

Have a mini conference with me  on the following-

  • Check the claims
  • details
  • language
  • structure
  • accuracy of the events
  • relevancy of eh events
  • making appropriate connections

Homework: Revise your speech Practice in class tomorrow.

Part B: Essay analysis

Lesson 1

Objectives: Student will develop a thesis statement by summarizing the text paragraph by paragraph and identifying the key point in each  of them,

Aim: How do we develop a thesis based on an author’s idea development?


Do Now: Questions about the T.R. Speech.

Mini Lesson :

How do we summarize? How do we identify an author’s claim or point?

Independent Practice-

  • Based on assigned passage from the article “The Depressive and the Psychopath” . Write a summary and point out the claim the author tries to make. Make sure to mark the evidence to support your point.

Group 1: page 1

Group 2: page 2

Group 3: Page 3

Group 4: Page 4

Group 5: page 5-6

  • Share  your group discussin with the class. Take notes from each group’s presentation.

Homework: Write two paragraphs, one of which should be the overall summary of the article and the other, thesis of the article as well as its suporting evidence.

Week 2: Using rhetorical devices such as ethos, pathos, logos- Cullen, “The Depressive and the Psychopath”Editorial, Great Conversation Documents: FDR[9] (essay)

Assessment: annotations of articles and a well-developed argument essay

Texts:White, “Death of a Pig” (essay), To Room 19” (essay), Emerson, “Self Reliance”

  1. Nobel Prize Award Speech by William Falkner
  2. Excerpts from Walden by Thoreau
  3. Famous Speeches
  4. Emerson
  5. Silko, Ceremony
  6. Lessing : To Room 19
  7. Friedan, The Problem That Has No Name
  8. Menken, “On Being an American”
  9. Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”
  10. Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, “The Middle Passage
  11. McKibbon, “New Math”


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