Ethos, Pathos, Logos in I Have a Dream

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for I Have a Dream


"I Have A Dream" Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Example



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Activity Overview


In high school, the ELA Common Core Standards require students to develop formal writing skills, creating essays and arguments that are well-thought-out, and syntactically varied. They also require students to effectively use persuasive writing strategies to defend a claim or point of view.

A key to strong persuasive writing the ability to dissect and validate, or debunk, other arguments. This requires a basic working knowledge of rhetoric. A great way to enhance students' understanding of effective arguments is to teach the Aristotelian concepts of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Students can then identify and analyze the effectiveness of these strategies in a work of literature, a speech, or a letter.

Having students create storyboards that show examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos is a great way to introduce and teach basic rhetoric in the classroom! Then, have them create a storyboard with 2-3 examples of each of the following types of rhetorical appeals from “I Have A Dream”.


Examples of Rhetorical Strategies in “I Have A Dream”

Ethos/Expertise

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”


Pathos/Appeal to Emotion

“Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is a great beacon light of hope it millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But 100 years later the Negro still is not free.”


Logos/Logic

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows examples of ethos, pathos, and logos from the text.


  1. Identify one example of each rhetorical strategy: ethos, pathos, and logos.
  2. Type the example into the description box under the cell.
  3. Illustrate the example using any combination of scenes, characters, and items.
Ethos Pathos Logos Template

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