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The Great American Speeches

What are the elements of a great speech? And what makes that speech a great American speech? In this course, we will analyze five great American speeches in order to better understand what it means to be an American. Students will improve on their close reading skills, expand their knowledge of U.S. history, and engage in deep analysis of primary source texts.
Readings will include:
1. Excerpts from George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796)
2. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863)
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address (1933)
4. President Ronald Reagan’s address on the loss of the Challenger (1986)
5. George W. Bush’s Speech to the Knesset (2008)

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