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Summer SAVY Session 1, Day 4 – The Great Debate

Posted by on Thursday, June 15, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 4:  Good afternoon families and great debaters!  

Today we continued building our knowledge and training in the art of rhetoric, persuasion, and rebuttal. We learned about rhetorical processes and the five tenets of rhetoric a la Cicero: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery!  We also continued to practice our rebuttals in a guessing activity and figure out which type of rebuttal we were making (principle, mitigation, or effectiveness rebuttals). I selected a topic that I was going to argue, and students had to think ahead to come up with ideas about what my three main points might be. They then had to plan ahead by preparing a potential rebuttal to my point. Later, we went outside for another round of rebuttal kickball where we got to practice what we had just learned about thinking ahead – but on the spot! Yikes! After lunch, our Island Adventure continued! We found out that the Island has 7 different biomes, each with its own pros and cons, and we will now have to debate the other teams over where to build our permanent shelter! We started the research process today and will structure our arguments tomorrow. There are so many possibilities and opportunities to think creatively in this debate that our students will have to use each of the five tenets of rhetoric and the rhetorical triangle to create a strong enough argument to convince the Island architects (the moderators, or adjudicators) that their biome is the most ideal. After all, we do want to be great debaters, not sophists!  

Treasure hunt hint: before Cicero gave us the rhetorical tenets and Aristotle brought us the rhetorical triangle, there was a group of philosophers (critiqued by Socrates) who were known for their skill in making speeches and using arguments that seemed plausible but were often specious. Who were they? This is the hardest clue yet but the answer is also in this blog. Double bonus – it starts with the same letter as another new vocabulary word mentioned here that we haven’t discussed – you may want to look this one up too! 

Ms. Townsley