Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slice of Life - Day 16

My speech class has been reading autobiographies or biographies of successful leaders or entrepreneurs in preparation for the culminating of assignment of delivering a tribute speech.  We have talked about the necessary elements to a tribute speech and watched several speeches including Oprah Winfrey's eulogy to Rosa Parks and Tina Fey's tribute to David Letterman.  On Friday I spoke with the students about finding a goal for their speeches. Some will choose to show the struggles that a person overcame in order to achieve success or others will illustrate ways in which a person changed lives.  I need to figure out what my tribute speech will about, so below are my ideas for my tribute speech of Noah Webster. 

 I have been reading The Forgotten Founding Father by Joshua Kendall.  It is a biography of Noah Webster Jr., the creator of the first American dictionary.

- Socialized with Ben Franklin, Aaron Burr, George Washington, James Madison, and John Marshall.

- Clarification of syllables to help with the instruction of reading and writing
--Reverend Thomas Dilworth - an English author who wrote the 1700s most commonly used speller (A New Guide to the English Tongue); started the instruction of reading by dividing words into syllables; defined a syllable as "either one letter; as a; or more than one; as man"
--Webster created his own speller (The American Spelling Book) that clarified and standardized American English; defined a syllable as "one letter or so many letters as can be pronounced at one impulse of the voice, as a, hand"; divided words up by their pronunciation instead of by principles form Latin grammar

-Because of his efforts to protect his intellectual property (The American Spelling Book), Connecticut was the first state in the U.S. to pass a copyright law; he also instigated the passage of copyright laws in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island

- First author to create a marketing campaign 

- Wrote multitudes of editorials (both anonymously and signed) that encouraged support of Congress in tumultuous times; encouraged ratification of the Constitution by various states 

- Because of The American Spelling Book, people of all ages across the nation developed an interest in spelling. It was his book that ignited the Spelling Bee as a national pastime

- contributed ideas to the Constitution; suggested that the nation should governed by a single person (a president) 

- interest on the causes of Yellow Fever spurred him to send a questionnaire to doctors in the major cities of the U.S.; this was the world's first scientific survey and helped spur medical research  

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