FITTING WORDS instructs students in the art of classical Rhetoric, providing them with tools of communication that will equip them for life. Intended for high school students and above, Fitting Words is a complete curriculum covering a year of instruction. In this course, students will learn the theory of using words well, study the greatest speeches of all time, and practice the skills of effective oratory.
What is Rhetoric and why do we need it? The short answer is that God created us as people of words, and He wants us to use them in a fitting way. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Rhetoric is the art of using words well, and is measured by our ability to teach men the truth, to move men to goodness, and to delight men with verbal beauty. Effective speaking and writing is informative, powerful, and elegant.
The complete Fitting Words curriculum includes five parts:
- Textbook (a non-consumable hardback textbook)
- Student Workbook (a consumable workbook covering exercises and activities for every lesson)
- Answer Key (Answer Key and Teacher Guide with answers to every exercise and exam)
- Exam Pack (9 exams, ~70 pages)
- DVD (In-depth teaching from the author for every lesson. Numerous examples, illustrations, videos demonstrating good oratory from history, extra activities, and more.)
Why Fitting Words?
It is a curriculum. Rhetoric is the capstone of a classical education. In rhetoric, the student learns to synthesize the elements of his education, and to deliver his words with conviction, elegance, and persuasiveness. Because we all speak every day, rhetoric is is one of the most important courses within a curriculum. And yet, there are almost no complete high school rhetoric curriculums taught from a Christian worldview. Until now.
It is comprehensive. Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student is not a companion book. It is not a help. It is a complete and robust rhetoric curriculum, training students in the five skills of oratory: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Invention means developing effective arguments. Arrangement means organizing those arguments in a persuasive way. Style means finding the fitting words for the arguments invented and arranged, words of clarity and elegance. Memory includes practical skills for recalling the words of a speech. Delivery is the effective use of one’s voice and body in speaking. In addition to the student text, Fitting Words includes a full workbook with daily exercises nine exams answer keys and an optional video course.
It is Christian. The Lord presents Himself as a speaking God accomplishing His will by His word (Isaiah 55:11). Fitting Words is anchored on the Word of God and written from a Christian perspective. Examples from scripture are used throughout the lessons and an appendix identifies more than 500 speeches in the Bible.
It is classical. For thousands of years | the fathers of western civilization, including our church fathers, were trained in classical rhetoric. We desire to turn this generation back to the education of these great men. Fitting Words synthesizes the teachings of Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, and more, following the historical, classical tradition. Lessons to be learned are illustrated through the use of the greatest speeches in history: classical, biblical, medieval and modern.
It is a product of experience. The author, James B. Nance, has eighteen years of experience teaching classical rhetoric to young people. He is the author of the award-winning Introductory and Intermediate Logic texts, and a popular speaker at classical Christian education conferences.
It is beautiful. Fitting Words is beautifully designed and illustrated, balancing elegance with clarity.
It is practical. Every lesson includes exercises for students to practice the concepts learned, discussion questions for thinking deeper, book suggestions for reading further, and a variety of thought-provoking quotes for developing memory. One Roman rhetorician wisely said, “Theory without continuous practice in speaking is of little avail.” Consequently, students will write and deliver up to five complete speeches to apply the lessons throughout the Fitting Words text.
Here is one full lesson from the Fitting Words Rhetoric curriculum so you can get a feel for how the course works.
Each lesson of Fitting Words Rhetoric has two videos: Lesson and Application. In addition, there is an exam prep video for each of the nine exams throughout the course.
We recommend students follow these steps while going through Fitting Words:
- Read the lesson in the textbook
- Watch the Lesson portion of the video course
- Work on the exercises in the Student Workbook.
- Watch the Application portion of the video course (workbook open).
- Where appropriate, put the application/workbook to practice!
Now to sample each of these parts!
View the PDF of Lesson 12: Emotions, Part One, from Fitting Words (hardback textbook)
View the PDF of Lesson 12 exercises from Fitting Words Student Workbook (softback consumable with perforated pages)
View the PDF of a sample exam (Fitting Words Exam Pack includes 9 exams, as well as Exam Reviews, and speech judging sheets)
View the PDF of Lesson 12 Answer Key (Paperback)
Watch Fitting Words, Lesson 12: Main Lesson:
Watch Fitting Words, Lesson12: Application