Hurricane Evacuation Rhetoric

During election season, we often turn our attention to the role of argumentation in running for office, but in this exercise, students are asked to take a closer look at how politicians have had to use rhetoric in an effort to save lives in the face of life-threatening weather conditions.

The “kairos” for the excerpts that follow is similar in that in (1) major hurricanes are imminent, and (2) mandatory evacuations are in place. The chronology of these events affects “kairos” in subtle ways (i.e. Chris Christie’s 2011 argument to evacuate New Jersey residents from their beach homes in light of Hurricane Irene is echoed in his 2012 call for evacuation because of Hurricane Sandy).

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Lesson Features

Grades Middle & High School
Focus Rhetorical analysis; Effectivess across speakers with a similar purpose

Lesson Description

What you can expect to find in this lesson bundle:

  • Four texts for close reading and rhetorical analysis — excerpted from different speakers (governors and a weatherman) across different hurricanes (Irene, Sandy, and Matthew)
  • Four-way graphic organizer for comparative analysis
  • Writing prompt to compare, contrast, and synthesize the effectiveness of each text

 
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