warning

Content guidance

Contains conflict or violence.

Adult supervision suggested.

video

Lesson video

In progress...

Loading...

Hello, I'm Ms. Howard.

Welcome to the final lesson of our Rhetoric and Change unit.

So brilliant work for getting all the way through this unit.

We've looked at some really unusual use of rhetoric within the Rhetoric and Change unit.

So we studied Michelle Obama's letter, her note to her younger self and explored the really personal tone and the chronological way in which she took us through the experiences of the past and the advice that she would offer herself along the way.

We use that as inspiration for our own letter to our younger self, which I'm sure was a fantastic achievement on your part.

And then last time during the week scored Lennie James, open letter, "This is no way to be a man" that was published in the Guardian as a way way of raising awareness around knife crime and the severity of knife crime in the United Kingdom.

Today, we're going to finish off by really developing our comparison skills.

So we've analysed a great deal of both letters, but I want us to think about how both writers use quite a similar form, the letter form in very, very different ways.

And so we're going to really get to grips with how to compare two texts.

So this is a quite challenging lesson but at the same time, I think you'll get loads from it.

So before we get started, close down anything that might serve to distract you, any conversations or apps if you know how.

You'll need a pen and something to write on, to make notes and complete the tasks for this lesson.

Find yourself a quiet space where you know that you won't be disturbed.

And then when you're ready, resume play on the video and we'll get started.

So today we'll explore these two fantastic writers.

We'll have a look back at their letters and think about how they both use the letter form and they'd both use rhetoric, but in very different ways.

However, the similarity that they do share is that they both encouraged change either for the individual or for a wide audience.

We'll be constantly coming back to whether these ideas are achieved in a similar way or different way.

So you can really develop your knowledge of how to compare two texts.

So not only will this be useful for today for exploring two letters, but in essence, any two texts that you come across, you will be able to compare quite confidently.

Don't forget, this lesson does include details of a sensitive nature, and particularly when we're looking at James's letter.

So if you have made sure that you've got a trusted adult nearby or you've checked with them beforehand, fantastic.

So in today's lesson, we'll have a little bit of a rhetoric recap.

See how much you remember from our study of rhetoric over the unit as a whole.

We'll consider what both letters set out to achieve.

So what the overarching purposes, why were they written? What did the writer intend as a result of writing that particular letter? We'll then consider how they set out to achieve this in similar or different ways.

I'm going to be giving you some really fantastic strategies to use when making comparisons.

And last but not least we'll think about why rhetoric is useful for writing letters, because it's not necessarily, when we're talking about rhetoric as we said before, it's not necessarily the usual place that we would expect to find the use of rhetoric.

And so we'll be thinking about why it's come in handy for these two particular writers.

Before we have a look at both writers and look at how to make comparisons, I'd like to have a little bit of a rhetoric recap.

So I've written four statements for you here, and I've missed out key words in the statements.

The key words are at the bottom of the screen.

What I'd like you to do is using the keywords at the bottom is write out the statement in full filling in the gaps.

Let's see how much you remember.

How did you get on? When using rhetoric to give advice it's important to build a strong sense of ethos with the audience.

Well, yes, definitely.

And don't forget strong sense of ethos is building trust and credibility and making sure that the audience realise that you really care about the topic that you're talking about.

Using imperative language for advice is effective, because it makes the statement sound like an instruction.

And if you remember, we saw that before, didn't we? With Michelle Obama's letter, of "Don't worry.

Be patient.

You'll get there.

You won't go through this alone." Yeah.

So that imperative language, normally we find it in instructions, but actually these instructions were almost had a tone of reassurance to them, to the advice.

Number three, pathos is essential because it appeals the audience's emotion, making it more likely to want to act on the advice given.

Yes, definitely.

Do you remember pathos is where we're evoking evoking, encouraging the audience to react with a particular emotion.

Usually highlighting pity or suffering makes us feel sorry for them, makes us feel empathy.

And it makes us more likely to want to act.

It also makes something far more memorable if we can involve pathos within our writing, rhetorical writing or speaking.

Number four, dialysis is an excellent way of providing a better alternative to the way things have always been done.

Yes, remember dialysis is or either or or between or statement.

You can either do that.

That's not very good.

That's the way you're currently doing it, or you could do this and this is much better and this is improvement.

And we saw that within Lennie James' letter to where he said "Don't be a proud man, try to be a good one." Yeah.

Well done if you got all four.

Fantastic work.

So to make sure that we have a really strong memory of what was within both letters and what the overarching-- What the purpose of both letters was, what I can like to do is write a short summary of both letters.

Now, if you'd like a real challenge, I would very much challenge you to try and get your summary of each one to 20 words each.

Now that sounds really easy, but when you've got to include the main purpose in there, and perhaps evidence, it's a tricky challenge, but it can be done.

Here are some sentences starters to start you off.

I want you to make sure that you've included what the purpose of the letter was.

And if you remember an example of where we see this.

How did you get on? So let's have a look at this example for a summary of Obama's letter.

Obama writes a letter to her younger self.

The letter is designed to give herself advice as she looks back on memorable moments of her life.

This is evident when she describes the death of her father and reassures herself not to worry about going through it alone.

So this person has a clear understanding of what the purpose of the letter was.

Where they've put this letter is designed to give herself advice, that's a really nice way of phrasing it.

They gives an example, or this is evident when, so again, that's a really nice way to phrase, including an example to support your ideas.

Pause the video here, if you'd like to make any changes to your summary of Obama's letter.

Okay.

Let's look at James' letter and the summary for this one.

James' open letter was written because he wanted to reach out to those involved in gun crime.

So this person has a really clear understanding of what the letter is designed to do and the letter's purpose.

To encourage them to consider their actions.

Now that part of the sentence goes even further beyond purpose because it considers how the audience, how James would like the audience to respond.

He attempts to build ethos through empathy, very nicely put.

One example of this is when he says he grew up in the care system.

So yes, they've understood that he create ethos through empathy, through saying, "I understand." Or through writing, "I understand what it's like to be in your situation.

I understand the challenges involved." They've also used that one example of this to support their ideas.

So it's almost like an alternative, so this is evidence.

Pause the video here, if you'd like to make any changes to your summary of James' letter.

So we're halfway through, we've had a little bit of a rhetoric recap.

We've understood what both letters' purpose was, what they set out to achieve.

That's come really fast, don't you think? Let us now have a look at how they manage that purpose in similar or different ways.

A comparison is a consideration of similarities and differences.

It originates from the Latin comparare, which means to pair or match.

So it's original meaning was very much focusing on similarities rather than differences.

However, the way that we use it today is to explore both.

When we're making comparisons, there are three key strategies for making comparisons that we can use.

This is what we're going to use today to take a step by step through each letter, and looking at them both side by side.

So, first of all, the purpose of the letter.

What was it written to achieve? Who is it aimed towards and why? And how are those between the two? That's similar or different? So we're going to be using those summaries that you've already written for that part.

Next up, the key ideas within the text itself.

What key ideas does the letter include? How does it present these ideas? And again, how are they similar or different? What we don't want to do here is start comparing techniques.

We're not playing spot the difference when it comes to making comparisons within English.

So we're not looking for, oh this one use collective nouns and so does this letter.

We're looking at the way that the ideas are presented and I'll provide lots of ways to do that and examples in a little bit.

But very much not feature spotting or techniques spotting and saying "well, this one uses direct address, this one uses a collective noun." We're moving away from that and thinking about how the ideas are presented.

Lastly, we need to consider the impact.

What reaction would it evoke? So remember evoke is encourage from the audience.

What reaction do we want from the audience and how are they similar or different reactions, that the writers are trying to achieve? Lastly, how would this help towards achieving its purpose? So this is almost like going back through on a loop.

How successful is the input that the audience has been encouraged to feel or how they've been encouraged to react? How does that help the writer to achieve that purpose? And again, is it similar or different? So pause the video here.

True or false? When making comparisons, we should consider.

You have one true and two false.

Best of luck.

How did you do? If you got number one, fantastic work.

Well done.

When making comparisons we should consider purpose, ideas, impact.

Definitely, definitely not technique-spotting.

So let's have a look at this first stage of our comparison.

We're going to have these these key questions to guide each stage of our comparison, to use these strategies.

So let's start with the purpose.

You may want to have your summaries in front of you to help you with this.

So what were both letters written to achieve and who are they aimed at and how do we know and why? So let's have a look at this written example this written comparison and think about whether it's similar or different.

Obama writes the letter to herself so she can look back on her life and think on what she's learned, but additionally, what she perhaps didn't realise at the time.

So this writeup, as they're comparing the two letters, outlines the purpose, that the letter was written so that Obama could look back on her life and think about what she has learned.

It's aimed at herself, which the writeup also establishes.

Let's have a think about whether the James writeup is similar or different to that Obama writeup.

James writes the letter for a wider audience, but aimed at those involved with knife crime.

He gives them advice and shares how difficult he knows it can be.

So again, they've included the audience, who it's aimed at, and what the purpose is as well.

He gives them advice and shares how difficult he knows it can be.

Would you say that the comparison here highlights the similarities between Obama's purpose and James' purpose or the differences? If you said differences, yes, I definitely agree with you here.

Obama focuses on this personal journey and it's though she's speaking to herself.

Now don't get me wrong.

Obviously the letter was shared with a wider audience, but ultimately it's that personal tone, that she writes the letter to herself that is the main focus here, the main purpose.

It might have inspired other people as a result, but it's a very personal tone and a personal purpose.

And what was it written to achieve? Well so that she can think about what she has learned along the way.

Whereas, or alternatively, James writes the letter for a wider audience.

So the audiences are different here, but the purposes are different as well.

He gives him advice and shares how difficult he knows it can be.

Whereas Obama, yes she does give herself advice, but the idea is that the writer has included in here about, so she can think back on what she has learned.

Well, that's a different purpose, isn't it? A similar differen-- Similar purpose.

Let's have a look at the key ideas, the main ideas that are explored within both letters as a whole.

So I've pulled some quotations out here.

We're going to come back to these in just a moment.

Let's have a look at the main ideas that you could include first of all.

So if we're thinking about the ideas within the letters themselves and how they present these letters-- These letters, these ideas, sorry.

Remember I said we're not focusing on this writer uses this technique and this writer uses the same technique.

That's not a comparison.

What we're trying to do is think about the key ideas that they include.

So let's go back to our language.

Obama uses this emotive language to really highlight her nostalgia over remembering memories of her father.

She also provides a sense of reassurance.

"Don't worry, you won't have to go through all of this alone." James uses this direct address over and over again.

This anecdotal tone, remember that we said where he describes the different scenarios as though he's been in that situation.

So when he says, "You're looking for somewhere to dash the blade," that quite informal language, it reinforces to the reader that he understands what it's like to be in this situation.

He also uses that figurative language, that hyperbole, remember exaggeration is hyperbole.

"When your blood is burning in your veins," to really emphasise that he understands that panic of being in that sort of situation, that he understands what it feels like.

And he also, again, we've got this quite informal language to show and to demonstrate empathy, "Cause you're toughing it out for the boys," with that use of the Z at the end of the boys as well.

So it's that informal language, the same as to dash the blade, to really emphasise his sense of empathy with his reader.

So you may talk about, with the key ideas for Obama, you may talk about her inclusion of chronological memories.

You may include her emotive language to describe particular memories and how difficult they were.

You may include the ideas that she uses, and how she demonstrates her use of giving advice to her prior self, her younger self as well.

When we're looking at ideas from James, we might include how he uses anecdotal language to develop this sense of empathy.

How he uses his own experiences to imply that he understands the challenges.

Pause the video here.

I'd like you to write up the key ideas for Obama using those particular examples that we've looked at.

And the key ideas for James.

And then, after you've written both and I would say these are only quite short writeups, so the key ideas of both letters.

I want you to decide whether they are similar or different.

Once you've made a decision, and this is very much your own opinion.

It all depends doesn't it? On which ideas you decide to include, once you've made your decision, select the contention that you think makes the most sense for your writeups.

Press play when you're done.

Now yours may not look the same as mine, because it all depends on the examples that you included.

Now, if we have a look here, this might give you a little bit of an idea to add to your own writeup.

Completely up to you, your own comparison.

What I want you to do is think about that this person that's written this response.

Are they highlighting similarities in the ideas or differences in the ideas? Let's have a look.

Obama traces chronologically through her life, selecting key anecdotes and using emotive language to emphasise how that moment affected her before using imperative language to give her younger self advice.

So notice, this person, every single time they identify technique they're saying how it's been used.

So using emotive language to emphasise how that moment.

Using imperative language to give herself younger advice.

They always explain how the language has been used.

James uses anecdotal language, so anecdotes to develop a sense of empathy with his reader.

He uses his own experiences, both directly, but later on implicitly.

Implicitly, it's a really tricky word, but a fantastic word to use.

So when something is implicit it's not always obvious, okay? Implicitly so implied, he understands the challenges that someone in that situation would face.

So what that means is when James is talking about where to dash the knife or know your blood is burning in your veins, it implies that he's been in this situation himself.

He's been in a situation where he's had to make the decision about whether to use, whether to carry a knife or not.

However, he never openly admits that in the letter.

That's why it's implicit.

So returning back to our comparison, would you say that these ideas are similar or different? Yes.

I agree with you.

I think they're quite different because you've got her chronological tracing and these anecdotes and emotive language about particular moments.

However, James uses anecdotes in the same way to kind of understand and to demonstrate his understanding of the challenge.

But you could say could you not that these are quite similar because they both use anecdotal language to develop their ideas.

So don't worry too much because it all depends on the examples that you put together.

Okay.

Let's look at the closing of these letters and how both writers present their final ideas to the reader.

So we had, in Obama's letter if you remember, she got the advice, reflect the light back on them of giving other people the opportunity to share their stories as well with her.

She also used that anaphora.

Do you remember anaphora? You always have been, and you always will be.

That repetition at the beginning of clauses to give herself advice.

You're more than enough Miche.

You always have been, you always will be.

And that informal tone of using Miche, her nickname in the letter is a really nice touch.

James closes his letter with that dialysis.

Don't spend your days looking to be a bad-man, try to be a good one.

He also directly addresses the audience.

You are precious to us, give yourself the chance to grow enough to understand why.

So what final ideas to both writers close with? What key ideas do they want to leave as with? And how do they present their ideas? I want you to have a go at writing the ideas presented within the final part of the letter.

I've given you some sentence starters to start you off.

Write a short piece for both writers.

So what ideas is Obama closing her letter with? What ideas is James closing his letter with? And then have a look at what you've written and decide whether they are presenting in a similar way or different.

Press play when you're done.

You may not have exactly the same as this.

You may not use quotations.

Fantastic if you have, don't worry too much.

I'm going to read through both of them, and then we'll pause the video and you can add to your own answers as well.

So Obama closes with the anaphora.

"You're more than enough Miche.

You always have been and you always will be." She reassures her younger self that she has nothing to feel insecure about.

So that's her final message that she says.

Don't worry Miche, in that reassuring tone.

James closes by directly addressing the reader stating "You're precious to us." He reassures the reader that they have nothing to prove and need to listen to less to others.

So he also through direct address, is reassuring the reader that they are precious.

So are the ideas that are being presented at the close of both letters, similar or different? That's right.

I'd agree they're very similar.

So if I was thinking about how to connect these two together these two statements, these two writeups, these two comparisons, I would probably use equally or similarly before feeding into.

So similarly James closes by directly addressing the reader.

Because the ideas that they're presenting are actually very similar.

It's just very different topic in a very different letter.

Pause the video here if you'd like to add anything to your own ideas.

So let's consider the impact of the letter as a whole.

What reaction does each letter evoke, so encourage, from us as the reader? And how would this help towards achieving its purpose? So for this, you need to look back for what you wrote for the purpose and think about, well how successfully do both letters achieve their purpose? Do we think that if we were reading it, or as the reader are we convinced that it has achieved its purpose? I've given you some sentence starters to help you out here.

Have a think about how each writer evokes a reaction from the reader and to what extent that helps them achieve their original purpose that you wrote in your first part.

Pause the video here, write both and then have a think about finally, whether your ideas are similar or different.

Now before we have a look at what I've written for that final part for the impact I'd like to introduce this new word, nostalgia.

We talked about it briefly when we were looking at Michelle Obama's letter.

But I really think it's important that we understand it.

A fond or regretful feeling when thinking of the past.

It's Greek for "Nostos", meaning home and "Algos", meaning pain.

So usually, it's that we regret something about the past.

Have your writing in front of you.

Yours may look like this, or you may have included different ideas.

Don't worry too much.

This is just to give you a little bit of an idea as to what this would look like.

Obama's letter evokes, nice use of evoke.

Remember evoke, encourages.

Obama's letter evokes a feeling of nostalgia for the audience.

Oh, so this idea that actually by reading this letter, the people reading it will think of their own memories.

That's a really nice touch.

They would be reminded of their own experiences and what they had learned from them as a result.

It would inspire them for the future.

So actually this person has picked up on that.

From reading this, it might cause people to think about their own experiences and what they have learned as well.

Interesting.

Let's have a look at James.

James develops a sense of empathy with this reader, through his anecdotal tone throughout.

They would feel as though he understood the challenges they face every day.

That's really nice, and that is essentially his purpose, isn't it? That he wanted to kind of reach out to people and show that he understood them.

So would you say that these ideas are similar or different? I'd say they're different.

I would be using alternatively or whereas here to link my two statements together.

Because on the one hand Obama is evoking that feeling of nostalgia for the audience, in a quite fun way.

This idea that you could look back, learn from your experiences, that's quite a nice process.

Whereas James is doing something very different because he needs to build empathy with his reader.

He needs his reader to understand that he understands what it's like to live in their shoes.

And so the impacts on the audience wouldn't necessarily be the same.

Pause the video here if you'd like to add anything to your own impact statements.

Right, let's have a little bit of a checkpoint.

Obama and James' letters are similar because.

They both directly address that audience to create a sense of ethos.

They both use that direct address to create a sense of ethos.

Notice we didn't just say they both use direct address.

We're always thinking about how the language has been used.

Obama and James's letters contrast one another because.

Correct answer.

Obama writes to inspire and James writes a warning.

So why is rhetoric useful for writing letters? Well, particularly for the purpose of these letters, rhetoric is really useful.

But it's perhaps used in a more unusual way than we would expect.

Usually we see rhetoric as something to persuade people or to motivate people or to convince people with what we think.

But here, where actually both writers try to provide a sense of advice.

Rhetoric is very useful because there needs to be an element of trust between the writer and the reader for James' work.

For that open letter.

And for Michelle Obama, it's all about making people aware of the transformation that takes place as a result of learning from experience.

So actually rhetoric is incredibly useful within both of these letters because it enables the writer to build that trust or build a sense of empathy, or give advice and be quite reassuring through that use of imperative language.

So it comes in handy here quite a lot.

What I'd like you to do is write down your answer, your answer to that question.

So in your own words, why is rhetoric useful when writing letters? So you've got together now quite handy set of strategies when we're thinking about comparing text.

Always think about purpose, ideas, impact.

So what's the purpose of it and how do we know? And how is that similar or different to the second text we're looking at? What ideas is the writer sharing and how do we know? And what examples do we have, and how does it compare, again, to the second text? And lastly, what is the impact? How does it leave us as the reader or the audience feeling? What does that cause us to think about more or ask about? What questions does it leave us with? Now you can use this for analysis.

It's just, your comparison comes in with where thinking about whether it's similar or different.

Fantastic work.

If you'd like to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work around Rhetoric and Change on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tagging @oaknational and the #learnwithoak.

I can't wait to see what you've put together.

And that's the end of the Rhetoric and Change unit.

Amazing work, I hope you've really enjoyed exploring these two writers.

I find both letters absolutely fascinating use of rhetoric.

And as I said before, quite unusual as well.

Brilliant work, I'd like you to do two final things for me.

I'd like to write down three things that you've learned across the unit as a whole.

That might be new vocabulary that you've come across.

It might be new devices, rhetorical devices that you didn't know about before.

I'd also like you to complete the quiz as well for this lesson.

So you can see and I can see how much you've learned as well.

Fantastic.

Take care and I'll see you soon.