Too bad school’s not in session. Retorts by Congressmen to President Trump’s remarks about President Putin would make a great vocabulary lesson, tying current events (of interest to students) to vocabulary (of lesser interest).
Using direct quotes could happen any time a current event brings forth a slew of comments. Even events from history and the responses of the people of the time could be used. What could the writing lessons be?
- Define ten of the words as used in the sentences and then use them in your own unrelated sentences.
- Select ten of the words and write a narrative / editorial / news story /poem using those words properly.
- Create a multiple choice test. Use the quoted sentence as the prompt and then underline one word per sentence and offer four choices identifying the correct meaning.
- Write a persuasive essay saying which remark is the most persuasive or the most polarizing or the most noncommittal.
Here are some of the comments from a week ago. (The underlines are my own.)
Senator Susan Collins of Maine: [The president’s] position is untenable.
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska: When the president plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.
Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas: The problem is. . .Russia’s duplicitous behavior.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington: The president must hold Russia accountable for their adversarial actions and their continued efforts to undermine our democratic institutions.
Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina: the United States will not tolerate hostile Russian activities against us or our allies.
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri: [Putin] is a calculating adversary who is trying to exert all the influence he can anywhere he can.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas: I think [Trump is] conflating different things — the meddling and the collusion allegations for which there does not appear to be any evidence.
Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma: We must unequivocally denounce Russia’s election interference attempts.
Senator John McCain of Arizona: No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.