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A Zombie Apocalypse: An Introduction to Rhetoric

Innovation in Teaching Competition: Tabitha Ginther from Northside High School Part 1

Innovation in Teaching Competition: Tabitha Ginther from Northside High School Part 2

Grade Level

Content Area/Instructional Strategy


This unit uses the enticing scenario of a zombie apocalypse to teach students rhetoric and rhetorical appeal. Students practice identifying persuasive techniques in multiple forms of writing and speech – famous film speeches, advertisements, TED Talks, and a letter written by Lebron James – and collaborate in small groups to discuss effective rhetorical strategies. Students conclude the unit by writing their own rhetorical letters with the goal of convincing a selection committee to choose a selected character to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts:
ELA.9-10.RI.1; ELA.9-10.RI.2; ELA.9-10.RI.6; ELA.9-10.W.1; ELA.9- 10.W.4; ELA.9-10.W.5; ELA.9-10.SL.1; ELA.9-10.SL.3; ELA.9-10.L.2; ELA.9-10.L.3

About the Teacher

Tabitha Ginther
Northside High School
Muscogee County Schools

Tabitha Ginther is currently a 9th through 12th grade English Language Arts teacher at Northside High School in Columbus, Georgia. Her best piece of teaching advice is that education, above all, is the process of growth. She believes that the key to effective teaching is relationships between the teacher and student. She believes that learning requires the consent of the learner, and good teaching relies on relationships to garner that consent. Ms. Ginther earned a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Columbus State University. She recently earned her Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University. Ms. Ginther serves as the English department chair, co-moderator of the Senior Class Council, and Graduation Coordinator.