Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Focus on Primary Sources - American Rhetoric

Today's focus on primary sources is all about speeches.  Speeches are sometimes forgotten when we talk about primary sources, but they are powerful pieces of history.  Just think about some of the famous speeches we all know:  Gettysburg Address, I Have a Dream, FDR's Fireside Chats.  Studying speeches - especially within the context of their associated historical events and periods - is a great way to integrate close reading with social studies content.

Of course, you could search for each speech individually, but American Rhetoric has them housed all in one place!

The online speech bank here is great - you can search by speeches to find what you need.  They also have a compilation of the top 100 speeches of all time that is a great place to discover new jewels.

What I especially love about American Rhetoric is that they have audio recordings of the speeches, too.  Where possible, the original speaker is recorded, and for others they have narrators or celebrities reading the speeches.  I think it would be fun to have the students study the speech closely, THEN listen to it and see if their understanding or perceptions of the speech changed after listening.

This is a definite "must add" to your sites for primary sources!

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