Understanding the Classical Academic Press Logic and Rhetoric Sequence

by Joelle Hodge

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The Logic Sequence (7th-10th Grade)

We use logic every day, often employing it to distinguish logical arguments from those that are unreasonable. Beginning in the earliest stages of child development, the building blocks for this skill are shaped and formed, which is why we suggest starting your logic program in 3rd or 4th grade by supplementing your grammar curriculum with Reasoning & ReadingThese workbooks will help students further their cognitive development through playful application of language, and also will help begin structuring how young learners think. Students will learn to apply critical thinking skills through exercises involving analogy, causation, series and sequencing, making inferences, and more, which will form the basis for future deductive reasoning.

The Art of Argument (7th Grade)

 Since logic is both the art and the science of reasoning, students need to be prepared to engage arguments both inductively and deductively. When students in middle school and high school naturally begin to challenge assumptions, they are ready to begin a more in-depth study of these two pieces of reasoning well. The Art of Argument (7th grade and up) teaches the informal fallacies by reframing how students read and understand arguments. Using basic foundational questions-Is it relevant? Does it make unwarranted assumptions? Is it clear?-students begin to hone their inductive reasoning skills.

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The Discovery of Deduction (8th Grade)

However, students can easily get lost in the facts of an argument and forget to consider its construction. The Discovery of Deductionthe next step in our logic track, is designed to teach students the basics ofd deductive reasoning by introducing them to formal logic and the proper structure of an argument. This text will provide them with the necessary skills to determine whether the form of an argument is valid, while also showing them how to consider the argument's truth. 

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The Argument Builder / Everyday Debate & Discussion (9th Grade)

Once students have these basic building blocks in place, they're ready to tackle constructing arguments of their own! Everyday Debate & Discussion and The Argument Builder are the next great opportunities for students to employ their inductive and deductive reasoning skills, while continuing to build on other important writing skills such as research, citations, paragraph construction, making and defending oral arguments, confirming and refuting written arguments, and more. 

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The Rhetoric Sequence (10th-12th Grade)

These two texts also serve as precursors to a classical rhetoric curriculum. As pre-rhetoric resources, they introduce students to the common topics and give them an understanding of ethos, pathos, and logos. Once they have completed these texts, students are ready to jump in to the Rhetoric Alive! series. 

Rhetoric Alive! Book 1 (10/11th Grade)

 Our upper-school rhetoric track begins with Rhetoric Alive! Book 1: The Principles of Persuasionwhich walks students through an experiential understanding of Aristotle's definition of rhetoric:

"the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."

This is when more mature students, having been shaped by their scholarship, foundations of knowledge, and development of virtue, can begin to build confidence in their written and oral expression. Students walk through the 5 canons of rhetoric, learn a variety of schemes and tropes, and review informal and formal logic. At a time when they are still curious and filled with wonder, students will observe what is, consider what is true, and with wisdom and eloquence shape arguments to meet the needs of their audiences through short projects and exercises.

Learn more about Rhetoric Alive! Book 1 

Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis (11/12th Grade)

Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis marks the culmination of a classical education. Many schools and co-ops require students to craft and deliver and senior thesis, and this versatile text walks students through the entire process step by step, from topic selection to working through the 5 canons-Invention, Organization, Style, Memory, and Delivery-to choosing a snappy title. In completing the senior thesis, students bring all that they've learned-reading, writing, and arguing-to bear on one issue. They learn the background of that topic, analyze other people's arguments about the topic, and synthesize their findings and discoveries, putting it all together to form a true, good and beautiful whole: important skills they will continue to refine and explore far beyond the classroom. 

Learn more about Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis

 To reference a page number in the image above, visit our 2020 digital catalog

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