Summer Career Connections at SAVY 2018: Session 5, Day 2 – The Power of Persuasion (Rising 7th)
Our day started with a bang! Students were introduced to a fun ice-breaker known as “The Line,” where individuals must chose a character or item that might be found in a pre-selected location, describe that character or item, and them embody its physical essence in the space. One by one, we added to the scene, until collectively the students’ realized a final tableau. The Line is a fun improv-based game, though I assured the students that the activity would have bearing later in the day.
After a short de-brief of yesterday’s content, we watched Robert Kennedy’s historic speech announcing the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We talked about what made the speech so powerful, and how despite the speech being relatively extemporaneous, it remarkably followed the structure of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence: Attention, Need, Plan, Visualization, and Call to Action.
The students were encouraged to use markers, colored pencils, and crayons to diagram Aristotle’s Pyramid of Rhetoric and construct three-frame comics in the model of Aristotelian story structure. We watched a TED talk by the filmmaker (and director of The Force Awakens) J.J. Abrams about “Mystery Boxes”, those parts of stories intentionally left unexplained or mysterious so as to activate the imagination and subtly engender empathetic response. We then shared our three-frame comics, identifying as we went examples of Mystery Boxes.
We studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, visualizing the model as both a pyramid and as a staircase. Students then constructed their own models of the Hierarchy, using a variety of mediums and kinesthetic approaches: we sketched models, we physically embodied the structure (playing The Line), and finally used Legos to depict each stage of the hierarchy, sharing our creations one-by-one. Your children came up with wildly creative and humorous designs, from fortresses of safety to self-actualized baguettes; you will be able to see their creations on Friday, as we have transformed an entire bookshelf into a floor-to-ceiling depiction of Maslow’s Hierarchy!
After lunch, the students engaged in a powerful exercise known as a “privilege walk.” Students self-selected fictional characters, and with these characters we illustrated how communities, civic systems, and social structures can advantage or disadvantage different groups of people.
In our final hours, students assimilated content from the past two days by constructing persuasive speeches designed to illuminate problems identified within various civic systems. Our speeches began with well-structured stories in Aristotelian form, continued by identifying points of need, and concluded by proposing concise solutions. The amount of content these students have absorbed thus far is impressive – and this was only the second day!
Our Photos From Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs