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Rhetoric Activities

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Rhetorical Mad Libs

In this activity, student groups experiment with different rhetorical appeals and strategies of argumentation (assigned randomly) to write a fake letter to a specific audience.

MLL | Cultural Rhetoric

BBC Pidgin

Students (in small groups) pick any article from BBC Pidgin (a digital platform in English-based Pidgin for West and Central Africa) and translate it to be most appealing to their target audience. That can be whatever it means at that time in the quarter—e.g., a voice in the conversation (PWR 1) or oral delivery from written text (PWR 2). Then as we discuss students’ work, we also discuss how while we can discuss how to appeal to audiences, we as audiences also need to do better as listeners.

Visual Rhetoric

Collaborative Design Analysis Activity

Designed for PWR 2 students, this activity asks them to draw on design principles from Robin Williams and Timothy Samara in a collaborative activity that moves them outside the classroom.

Reading the Stanford Campus

This activity invites students to close read a space on campus by identifying the space's audience and purpose and determining which parts of the space are private/public and welcoming/unwelcoming to visitors. This activity helps students understand the rhetoric of spaces and how people shape interactions within spaces.

Take a Stand Impromptu Presentation

This non-graded presentation activity helps students prep for their proposal presentations by asking them to take a stand on a topic, also providing a rhetoric refresher for students.

Pen, Crayon, Smartphone: Exploring How Materials Shape Content and Writing Practice

This activity invites students to explore how materiality affects content through responding to a writing prompt using different sets of writing materials.

These activities are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Please remember to attribute all activities to their original authors (even if with an “adapted from”) on any handouts, webtexts, slides, or assignments sheets you generate from them.

If you have any activities of your own that you’d like to share, please send them here.