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Sarah Partlow Lefevre

How to Not Waste Your Time on the Internet

Making an important claim is great, but it quickly leads to failure without support. This interactive course explores
methods of finding, analyzing, and synthesizing solid evidence to create balanced, well-supported arguments.

Putting the Civility in Civil Discourse

Argument in a society increasingly more divided by highly-charged social issues is becoming progressively more
important. The art and skill of engaging in civil dialogue is a chief characteristic of our society. Some key theories help to identify the “rules for the road” in examining and discussing important topics of the day.

You’ve gotta Train like a Tiger to Break like a Bengal!

From drills like “practicing-in-persona” and “finding-the-filler” to “debate Jeopardy” and “Speed Debating,” we can offer several fun, insightful, debate-centered activities designed to invigorate students, expand thinking, and expand skills through several fast-and-fun skills drills. In addition to drills we regularly use, we will be pleased to craft activity specific to the needs of any speaking class or club.

State Standards

These presentations meet the following state education standards for high school students:

Media Arts

Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

MA:Re8.1.III Analyze the intent, meanings and impacts of diverse media artworks, considering complex factors of context and bias.


Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

MA:Re9.1.HS.III Independently develop rigorous evaluations of, and strategically seek feedback for media artworks and production processes, considering complex goals and factors.


English Language Arts/Literacy

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

RH.11-12.8 Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.



Comprehension and Collaboration   

SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.



Text Types and Purposes

W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.



Information and Communication Technology


Standard 3: Knowledge Constructor

ICT.9-12.3.b Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.