Wheatley Students Revisit the Federalist/Anti-Federalist Debate!

Last week, students in our English 11 course presented speeches based on their study of historical documents and of rhetorical strategies in their social studies and English classes.

This event is the culminating activity of a collaborative, interdisciplinary project developed by Natalia McMillan, Jen Fatone and Susan Donofrio. Students studied the Constitution, analyzed the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, and then developed speeches arguing for or against the ratification of the proposed Constitution using information from their close reading of these texts. Students were required to reference these texts and used rhetorical techniques such as appeals to pathos, ethos, logos and metaphor.

In their English classes, students developed and delivered speeches, then voted on which speeches were the most effective and convincing. The top six speeches (based on student votes) were presented to an enthusiastic crowd in Room 450. As students delivered their speeches, the audience used a rubric to evaluate each speech on the following four criteria: Presentation, Argument, Counter-argument and Rhetorical technique.

The following students presented speeches:

  • Alexandra Castiglie
  • Jack Fiorillo
  • Tyler Konigsberg
  • Olivia Palmieri
  • Ryan Steinberg
  • Andrew Thaler

When the votes were tallied, Andrew Thaler was declared the winner, followed by Tyler Konigsberg and Olivia Palmieri!

Congratulations to all of the participants, and thank you to Mrs. McMillan, Ms. Fatone and Mrs. Donofrio for supporting this great project.


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