Setting the (insane) controversy aside, I am going to have Katie watch and listen to Obama’s speech tomorrow. We won’t be realtime because I have to work all day, but we will watch the recording together and then we’ll do a little bit more.
Typically, during any show, we pause the action a lot (thank you TiVo) and talk about what we are watching. I expect this will be no exception. But afterward, I want to take things a bit further. Here’s what I have planned:
First: Taking Action on His “Call to Action”
Obama’s asking the kids “what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?” I am going to have her answer those questions – even if we just do make believe. Getting her imagination going is key – and goodness knows, we have no idea what jobs our kids will be doing twenty years from now.
Second: The Fine Art of Persuasion
I have dusted off my old rhetoric knowledge (my major, doncha know) and we are going to review his written speech. I want her to use a highlighter and hit his main points. Then I want her to tell me his “calls to action” (what he wants people to do) and finally, I want her to identify what he says to “prove” his points (e.g. citing real world examples). My goal here is mostly to start teaching her how to think; how to persuade and how important it is that you include proof in any argument.
Finally (or third): Watching How it Got Baked!
We will watch the Nickelodeon special: Get Schooled: You Have the Right. I think you can grab it on Tivo here. Again, we’ll record this and watch/talk during the day. Hopefully listening to the life of a Whitehouse speech writer – especially after spending so much time reviewing the speech – will be inspiring.
So that’s my plan.
It might be too much. I don’t want to over do it but I do want to bring it to life and make it meaningful. It’s hard to lead people – it takes a lot of work, thought, persuasion, passion and commitment. If I can show her how that all comes together in one speech aimed at kids, I will feel good about this “lesson.”