In-class activity for reasoning: fallacies

This is simple but an active way to introduce the ideas.

  • Sort the students into the same number of groups as the number of fallacies you wish to cover. (I like to have them count off to move around and work with someone new for this assignment).
  • Assign each group a fallacy from the list.
  • Have them use their books or, if you wish, the web site to define their fallacy and then to create an example.
  • Talk through the list, having students provide the definition and example (with any additions you want to make). I then follow up with my own examples and ask them to identify them.
  • Collect their fallacy examples and use the best ones on the test in a question like “identify the fallacy demonstrated in the following examples.”

This takes some time, but gets the students more involved in defining the fallacies and they like seeing their examples pop up on the test.

Update: In October 2012, I added a file with several test bank questions and original examples of fallacies here: teacherspayteachers


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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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