For anyone teaching persuasion this season, as I know a number of districts are, I wanted to mention a few sure-fire LTF lessons for 9th and 10th grad units on studying persuasive speeches and writing persuasively. My go-to intro lesson is "Finding Appeals in Contemporary Speeches" from Module 9, with 3 classroom-ready lessons, 1 on Emotional Appeals, 1 on Logical Appeals, and 1 on Ethical Appeals (remember, this is about character and credibility, not just about ethics, as it's often mistakenly taught). The Bush and Angelou speeches are on americanrhetoric.com (look for Bush's under 9-11 and go by the date, 9-20-11. It's audio only). The Angelou speech has video and can be found at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mayaangeloueulogyforcorettaking.htm. The Gore speech is the one that's not listed, but you can find it easily at nobelprize.org. Here's a straight link: www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/pea...re_en.html
The clip of the Gore speech LTF recommends is about 6 minutes into the speech, starting with "So today, we dumped another 70 million tons...." and ending with "out of sight and out of mind."
The other lesson I've had several teachers tell me their kids have really enjoyed, and that gets kids thinking not only about appeals, but about organizational strategies, is the "Nerds letters" lesson from Module 10 called "Structure in Persuasion." This is a great piece to use as a transition into student writing - pointing out to kids that just as these writers did, they need to think about how they're opening, transitioning, using a variety of persuasive techniques, and concluding a persuasive piece.
From there, I love the "Safe Trak Teen Driver Tracking System" prompt in the lesson, "Writing the Persuasive Essay" (Module 11). It's a great set-up for a close reading, discussion, brainstorming session of pro's and con's (you'll have to show them how to flip evidence from the ad into con arguments), writing a thesis, and organizing essays. If you want to give students other contemporary controversial issues to write about, you might look at http://www.middleschooldebate.com/topics/topicresearch.htm . It gives a list of topics and a set of 4 articles, some for and some against, topics like corporal punishment, banning junk food in schools, beauty pageants, and stem cell research. Not every article link is still active, and some topics are outdated, but it's still a great place to start if you want kids to do research-based persuasive essays. Another site we've mentioned on the Forum is teenink.com. It's now got several sections of sample persuasive essays by real teens (just look under All Opinions for choices like Love and Relationships, Drugs and Alcohol, and Current Events). Students could find an essay to disagree with or even to analyze for rhetorical strategies a la the Nerds letters.
My other favorite LTF resource for persuasive materials is the Assessment section. I think we often forget how many resources are in there! In Grade-Level Assessments, we've got those great sample speeches under Rhetorical Analysis, and - better yet for variety - under Rhetorical Analysis (2007 and 2009), there are sample speeches, essay prompts, rubrics for analytical papers, and Rangefinder essays (one essay for each score from 1 to 6) with teacher comments. 9th grade, for example, has a Frederick Douglass excerpt and a Lyndon Johnson speech. If I were having my kids write a persuasive essay, we'd do one together on one of those pieces for practice, then look at rangefinders and revise; then for the final assessment I'd use the other speech and prompt. It doesn't get much better than that!
I'm sure many of you are aware of these resources, but for folks who haven't gotten through all the trainings yet and are frantically digging, I hope this list is useful.