By Pam Heintz
Rhetoric is one of those words that is often misunderstood and underused, and proper rhetoric is even harder to come by. One of the things I adore most about NSCS is the intentionality that is taken to ensure that our students learn to express themselves well – both in speech and in written expression.
Rhetoric simply is the art of speaking and writing in such a way that one is able to engage and persuade the listener or reader. It is also the ability to convey thoughts with effectiveness.
At NSCS we have created specifically designed writing programs that teach the fundamentals of solid writing, while providing opportunity for students to express their creativity and interests. We always leave ample room for the students’ personalities to shine through their work.
Each year I have the privilege of introducing the elements of writing to students in grades 2-6 grades. Through the years these writing sessions have evolved into what has now become known as The Sandwich Buffet! Utilizing the elements of what makes for a delicious sandwich, I am able to teach students about the intricacies of solid and interesting writing. Students beginning in 2nd grade are able to tell me what a thesis statement is and how it is similar to a concluding sentence. These same students can also tell me what sub-points are and how important it is to use descriptive and embellishing words. Sometimes, when the students are struggling to recall a specific element of writing, I provide a clue like, “Think about the hot peppers we put on our sandwiches.” Or, “Don’t forget the tomatoes!” Each of the items that build a delicious sandwich help the students to not only visualize the systematic-elements that make for strong writing, but also enable the students to take risks in their writing and to write with depth and confidence in an attractive and winsome manner.
In case you are wondering…When I introduce writing to our students, I do provide an actual sandwich buffet with all the fixings!