Critical listening: What is it about Stacey Abrams?

What is it about Stacey Abrams?

OBJECTIVES

Students will develop critical listening skills by analyzing a speech for content, emotional appeal and delivery. They will also understand the biography and qualifications for national governmental candidates.

INTRODUCTION

Critical listening skills require active listening during a speech. In order to practice this, we will listen to Georgia’s gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams deliver the Democratic response to the president’s State of the Union address.

At the end of the lesson, we will be able to answer the question: What is it about Stacey Abrams that makes her so popular among Democrats (and even some Republicans)?

BACKGROUND

State of the Union

Stacey Abrams was asked to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

The State of the Union is a once-a-year speech from the president to Congress that indicates how the country is doing and the legislation that should be prioritized.

The response to the State of the Union speech is delivered by the opposite political party—for example, if the president is Republican, the response is delivered by a representative of the Democratic party—to clarify their party’s views on the country and the legislation that should be prioritized.

Stacey Abrams

Abrams was elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2006, and, in 2011, became the first African American to lead the Democratic Party in the Georgia House of Representatives.

In 2016, Abrams ran for governor of Georgia, and was narrowly defeated by Republican Brian Kemp, who has been under investigation for possible voter fraud.

If she had won, Abrams would have been the first black female governor in the country. She remains a popular politician among Democrats, and was endorsed by Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey for governor.

She received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.

From her website:

Stacey knows our beginnings do not have to dictate who we will become.

PRACTICE

Before watching the speech:
Why is Stacey Abrams delivering this speech?

During the speech:

Video courtesy of NBC news.

Check if she mentions:
Gun control
Voter suppression
Immigration policy
Health care costs
Economic policy
Climate

After watching the speech:
Give one example of how she engages her audience. What made you listen to her?

Why did she start with a story about her family?

EVALUATION

Did you have an overall positive feeling about her after listening to the speech? If so, why? Please provide more than one reason. Use at least five sentences in your response.

Or, did you have an overall negative feeling about her after listening to the speech? If so, why? Please provide more than one reason. Use at least five sentences in your response.

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