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Innovation in Teaching Competition - Beyond the Textbook

A Zombie Apocalypse: An Introduction to Rhetoric

Tabitha Ginther
Northside High School
Muscogee County Schools

Grade Level and Content

9th to 10th Grades
English Language Arts


This unit uses the enticing scenario of a zombie apocalypse to teach students rhetoric and rhetorical appeal. Students practice identifying persuasive techniques in multiple forms of writing and speech – famous film speeches, advertisements, TED Talks, and a letter written by Lebron James – and collaborate in small groups to discuss effective rhetorical strategies. Students conclude the unit by writing their own rhetorical letters with the goal of convincing a selection committee to choose a selected character to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts
ELA.9-10.RI.1; ELA.9-10.RI.2; ELA.9-10.RI.6; ELA.9-10.W.1; ELA.9-10.W.4; ELA.9-10.W.5; ELA.9-10.SL.1; ELA.9-10.SL.3; ELA.9-10.L.2; ELA.9-10.L.3

Available Materials

Unit Introduction
Daily Lesson Plans
SOAPSTone PowerPoint
SOAPSTone Graphic Organizer
Gallery Walk Activity Guide
Rhetorical Appeals and Techniques Graphic Organizer
TEDTalk Rhetorical Analysis Activity Sheet
Lebron James PowerPoint
Lebron James’ Letter
Zombie Apocalypse Opening
Zombie Apocalypse PowerPoint
Character Slips
Zombie Apocalypse Instructions
Zombie Apocalypse Ballot

Video of Lesson

Video 1 of 2

Video 2 of 2

> Download Video 1 of 2 (To save right-click then select 'Save target as' or 'Save link as')
> Download Video 2 of 2 (To save right-click then select 'Save target as' or 'Save link as')

About the Teacher

Tabitha Ginther is currently a 9th-12th grade English Language Arts teacher at Northside High School in Columbus, GA. Ms. Ginther has been a high school ELA teacher for ten years and holds a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature and a Master’s in Education from Columbus State University. Currently, Tabitha is working towards a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University. Her best piece of teaching advice is to recognize that relationships matter. Teachers don’t teach subjects or grades—we teach people. Learning requires the consent of the learner; good teaching relies on relationships to garner that consent. So build relationships between you and your students, between the students and their peers, and between the students and what they are learning!

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Disclaimer: The unit plans and materials on the Innovation in Teaching Competition website are aligned with Georgia’s standards through December 2014. English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards have been revised. The revised standards were approved by the State Board of Education on January 15, 2015. The revised ELA and Mathematics standards were renamed from the CCGPS to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

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