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Read the excerpt from President Kennedy's address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort:

1. Read the excerpt from President Kennedy's address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort:

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man's recorded history in a time span of but a half century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only 5 years ago man learned to write a use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than 2 years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than 2 months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight. 

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward. 

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward-and so will space.


In your response, give your opinion about how persuasive the speech is. Your response may be positive or negative, or a combination of both, as long as you are clear about your overall opinion. To support your argument, focus on Kennedy's point of view, and his use of both evidence and rhetoric. Be sure to cite or describe specific evidence to support your ideas, organize ideas appropriately, use transitions to move from one idea to another, and end with a closing statement. (15 points)

2. Read the excerpt from Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. 

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.


Create a outline for a speech that connects one of the four freedoms discussed in this excerpt to your own life. In the first part of the outline, organize an explanation of what Roosevelt's freedom (whichever one you picked) means. In the second part of the outline, organize your explanation of how this freedom connects to at least one event from your life. The first and second parts of your outline do not need to be of equal length. Throughout the outline, be sure to cite or describe specific evidence from the text or from your personal experiences. Also, organize ideas appropriately, develop your argument with relevant information, and provide a concluding section. (15 points)

3. Instructions:

One of your classmates has asked you to help him revise a speech he will be giving about the importance of facing fears. Revise his speech (found below) in the following ways:

  1. Make the speech formal.
  2. Add instructions to indicate where the visual images should be shown to audience, choosing images from the ones below. (For example, [Show image of Appalachian Trail sign].) Be sure to select at least two of the images, and make sure that they're relevant and helpful. 
  3. Make the details more specific to help strengthen the speech. You may add supporting details as needed, even if you make them up. (15 points)

NOTE: Underline any lines you copy from his original speech.

Speech text draft

Fears are bad for us. People shouldn't have them. Fears can psych you out and keep you from doing something worthwhile. Even something you've wanted to do your life. Imagine finally being able to hike the Appalachian Trail, a super long trail running from Maine to Georgia. It's hard to hike this trail. Lots of people try but they can't because they don't have what it takes. But, you make it this far. Then, your worst fear, the thing that makes you really anxious happens as you're hiking. What would you do? You'd probably give up. Now you can not your lifelong dream but you should be able to. We have to face our fears. It's not worth it to live life in fear!


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