ALEX Learning Activity


Speaking From the Heart: A Study of Rhetoric in Sojourner Truth's Ain't I a Woman?

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Ashley Lucier
System:Autauga County
School:Marbury Middle School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2421
Speaking From the Heart: A Study of Rhetoric in Sojourner Truth's Ain't I a Woman?
Digital Tool/Resource:
Ain't I a Woman? Slides
Web Address – URL:

Students will analyze "Ain't I a Woman?" for rhetorical features. Background information regarding Sojourner Truth is provided, and students will rotate groups throughout the activity to complete the work and have access to a greater number of ideas. 

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit. 

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 10
15 ) Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. [RI.9-10.6]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.10.15- Identify the author's point of view and purpose in an informational text.

Learning Objectives:

1. Students will be able to determine an author's point of view or purpose. 

2. Students will analyze how the author uses rhetoric to advance the author's point of view. 

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

1. The instructor will split students into groups.

2. The instructor will review slide 1 of the "Ain't I a Woman?" Slides with the students. 

3. The instructor will play the video on slide 2 and students will respond to the video using the graphic organizer on page 1 of their "Ain't I a Woman?" Analysis. 

4. The instructor will lead a discussion with slide 3 of the "Ain't I a Woman?" Slides with the students. 

5. The instructor will go over expectations for viewing the speech on slide 4 and show video of the speech on slide 5. 

6. After watching the speech, students will write their first reactions on the first page of their "Ain't I a Woman?" Analysis. 

7. For slide 6, the students will complete page 3 of the "Ain't I a Woman?" Analysis. They will have one leader in each round who facilitates and makes sure that the group is completing the work. Give them about 5 minutes to complete each round. Once they finish, the group members will rotate to another table, except for the leader. Students can only be a leader once. (Instructions for group rotations are included in the "Ain't I a Woman?" Slides.)

8. For slide 7, students will complete page 4 of the "Ain't I a Woman?" Analysis. Do ethos as a whole class, have students complete pathos in pairs, and then students will complete logos individually. Some of the graphic organizer has already been filled out to help.

Assessment Strategies:

Instructor can collect student handouts and grade for accuracy or have students complete an exit slip with the following information: 

"Write a thesis statement and explanation analyzing how Truth uses rhetoric to persuade her audience."

Collect the exit slips and assess for accuracy. 

Advanced Preparation:

The instructor should make copies of the analysis handouts (1 per student). 

It is helpful to already have the desks grouped for students before class begins. Group size can vary, but four students per group are preferred. 

Variation Tips (optional):

A template can be provided for the exit slip if a student is struggling with the thesis statement. Ex: In (title), (speaker) uses logos to (claim). For example, she states, ("quote.") By stating this, (speaker) illustrates that (explanation of quote). 

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

Groups can be strategically assigned to create an equitable mix of learners. For ELL students, there is typically versions of the speech translated online. 

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: American literature, group discussions, rhetoric, Sojourner Truth, speech