History Will Absolve Me



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Cuba and Castro WebQuest

We are working on this WebQuest in preparation for your analysis of Fidel Castro’s “History Will Absolve Me” speech, our debate on the effectiveness of Castro’s leadership, and our own writing.

This week, our goals are to work together, using proper discussion etiquette to communicate our ideas and group expectations, and to evaluate and analyze the writing of Fidel Castro.

I hope you enjoy learning about Cuba and el comandante!

***Begin by learning what Cuba was like before Castro came to power. Go to http://www.britannica.com/, and search Fulgencio Batista. Read the article on Batista, then watch “Fulgencio Batista: November Revolt of 1933” and “Cuba: Batista Revolt.” These are the first 2 videos that show newsreels on Batista.

***Learn more about Batista and Cuba. Search “pbs.org Fulgencio Batista” and click on the link to www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/p_batista.html. Read the brief article on Batista, paying special note to what life was like in Cuba under Batista’s regime.

***Next, see what prompted change in Cuba. Go to biography.com. Search “Fidel Castro.” Scroll down to the videos and watch “Fidel Castro—The Cuban Revolution.”

***Read about Castro and his leadership at http://www.history.com/topics/fidel-castro. Then, watch the video “Godfathers of Havana: Cuba, Castro, and Organized Crime.”

***Visit http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/cb/cuba/castro.html and http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/ to read some of Castro’s speeches. There are interviews, articles, and public speeches that you can read, and I pulled the excerpt of the speech “History Will Absolve Me” from the latter site.

***Continue with your research on Castro and Cuba. Use reputable sites to investigate how life has changed in Cuba, and to help you consider whether or not there were more positive or negative outcomes when he was in power. Consider, too, the resources he had at his disposal. Make sure to note the source for all of your research.

Castro’s Leadership Debate: 20 points

We will apply our research to Thursday’s debate on the effectiveness of Castro’s leadership. Our class will be split into 3 groups: a group arguing that he was very effective, a group arguing that he was not very effective, and a judge’s panel. As a class, we will research Castro and what he has done in Cuba over the last 60 years—before and during his regime. This will assist us in determining whether or not there were more positive or negative outcomes to the decisions he made when he was in power.

The debating groups will need to present their arguments for their side in an organized and evidence-backed presentation of their view during the debate. Every person in the group must speak for their group and notes are allowed when speaking. Each group should choose a foreman to assign tasks to each individual in within the group. The foreman will keep the group organized and make sure that every person gets a chance to speak. He or she will also make sure that an opening and closing statement is prepared. These groups will have today to work together during class, and all other meeting times will need to be coordinated amongst the group members.

The panel of judges should work together in an organized manner to create the questions and protocol that will be utilized during the debate. As a group, the judges should consider the format that will be utilized in our debate, consequences for deviating from the protocol, how to score their responses, and time limits for the debaters to meet with their groups and for responding. The protocol is due on Wednesday. The judges must create a list of different questions that is due tomorrow (this means that you must work as a group to create these questions, as there should not be any repeated questions). On the day of the debate, you will determine who wins the debate according to the protocol that you have created.

Every student must research both sides of this argument; cite all of your sources on this topic in your notes, next to the information that you will utilize. I will check your notes and sources on Thursday.

Discussion: The Effectiveness of Castro as a Speaker (15 points)

You can access the excerpt of his speech by accessing the attachment called “Castro: ‘History Will Absolve Me’” on the Student Portal, or I can send it to you if you email me.

On Tuesday, we will learn about rhetorical devices and how they can make a speech more effective. You will need to bring your copy of Castro’s speech, “History Will Absolve Me” to class, and prepare to take annotate your copy with your ideas. On Wednesday, we will discuss your evaluation of Castro’s speech and his use of rhetorical devices. On Wednesday, you will be assessed with the discussion checklist attached to this page. This is the same checklist that we used during our analysis of Woman Hollering Creek; I have only added language that is specific to this discussion.

***You must analyze Castro’s speech for effectiveness, demonstrate your understanding of what lends to how effective he is, and converse in a manner that demonstrates proper discussion etiquette.

Discussion Checklist

Students will lead a discussion using proper discussion etiquette: their eyes should remain on the speaker, they should speak loudly and clearly enough for all to hear, they should refrain from being rude or interrupting other students, and they should continue a discussion without repetition. _______/5 pts



Students will analyze and evaluate the text and provide at least one example to support their opinions; they will connect, question, or explain their opinion. ________/5pts

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the text and the issues we have been discussing this week and writing about today through mentioning information or observations from a variety of places in the text and/or various rhetorical devices. ________/5 pts


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