Pick of the Week: Snake Oil Game

Teach the art of rhetoric.

Introduce the art of rhetoric to your students with this new card game full of persuasive speech, creative thinking, and sneaky fun.

Snake Oil Game

Why we love it: Your literal-minded kids may balk at creative-writing or persuasive-speech assignments. This enjoyable game takes the pressure off and brings on the laughs while still enforcing logical thinking and influencing one’s audience.

Mark Twain would approve: The game recruits students to be like the sly snake-oil salesmen of the Old West and get their customers (their fellow students) to buy their dubious products.

How it works: Students make up their products by combining the word cards they are dealt. Each player must “sell” their products convincingly; the game concept is similar to Balderdash and Apples to Apples. The player who convinces the most customers is the slimy victor.

This snake can change its spots: Play the game by the rules on relaxed Fridays in the classroom, or hand out a combo of word cards to each student for inventive writing or classroom public-speaking prompts.

Best for: Middle school students or high school public-speaking classes.

Find it: Amazon

What are your best tips for teaching rhetoric in the classroom? Share with us!

Posted by Jessica McFadden

Jessica McFadden is a writer, blogger and parent living in the Washington, DC suburbs. A daughter of a teacher and a member of a family of teachers, she is happily at home interviewing teachers, principals and education specialists.

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