Rhetoric in the Elementary Classroom

As my major hints, I am very passionate about the education of young children and I love talking about what I believe should and should not be taught/said/done in an elementary classroom. That being said, I thought it would be interesting to explore the idea of rhetoric in adolescent classrooms.

From upholding the little white lies about Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, to trying to explain why we should be nice to each other, teachers strategically practice the use of rhetoric on a daily basis. Especially at the younger ages of 5-8, children really love one word: “why?”. Because that’s true, teachers must be equipped with a minimum of two different ways of saying the same thing at all times. Whether they are trying to explain why 2+2 equals 4, or tactically answering the “where do babies come from?” question, teachers must always be mindful of what they are saying and more importantly, how they are saying it.

In my various field placements in the elementary school setting, I have already picked up on some strategies to use for various settings such as trying to draw a child’s attention back into the activity we are doing, or resolving a silly argument between two classmates and carrying on with class. The power of rhetoric is truly huge in the elementary classroom because children’s minds are sponges and they are constantly seeking to know more and understand anything and everything their teachers say. That being said, it is so crucial to use your words wisely in that setting in order to make the most of strategic and educational rhetoric.

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3 thoughts on “Rhetoric in the Elementary Classroom

  1. I loved reading this post because I love your perspective. As an education major you have a great point of view for using rhetoric in the classroom. I like the examples you gave for when rhetoric is used because it shows rhetoric in everyday life. The lessons about rhetoric are practices that the teacher uses to interact with students rather than just telling a student what rhetoric is. I think rhetoric is present in everyday life for adults too and it takes proper learning in those younger years to properly use rhetoric as we mature.

  2. I definitely thought that your perspective was super interesting. In class we have mostly been talking about formal forms of rhetoric, as opposed to an every day perspective like this one. I have never thought about rhetoric in this way, and the point you make in children always asking “why?” really makes sense, and makes for a good use of rhetoric.

  3. I thought this post brought up some really interesting points that I had not yet considered. Having all been through an elementary education, I think this is a topic we can all relate to, but now offer a different perspective than when we were students. Teachers today certainly have to employ a great amount of rhetoric. Especially in today’s day and age, the world is very sensitive about what we tell our children. Teachers have to be very cautious, for example, to not express political views or ideologies. The rhetoric used in an elementary classroom is definitely a set of its own. I agree that there is a lot of power in the rhetoric we use in elementary education, and when acknowledged, it can be very powerful in shaping the minds of our country’s youth!

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