Students will use a ProCon.org topic of their choice to prep for a mock speech to Congress.
Each student will be preparing a 5-minute speech as if he or she were giving testimony on the floor of the House of Representatives. To give students a "feel” for what they will be expected to do, show students a short clip (perhaps from C-SPAN or their Congressional Representative's website) of a speech on the House floor. As a class, brainstorm a list of things they notice that make the speech interesting or boring, clear or confusing, etc.
Then have students choose any topic from ProCon.org that interests them. Once they have mastered the material and drawn their own conclusions, provide time for them to write and rehearse their "floor speeches." Direct them to focus on persuasive content and oration style.
Speeches can be presented in class, or recorded and uploaded using a tool such as VoiceThread or a class wiki. Invite peer feedback based on the brainstormed list that the class created prior to preparing their individual speeches.