Rhetoric (grades 9-12)


In the rhetoric stage, the final stage of the trivium, students increasingly become independent thinkers and communicators. Wander into our calculus class and what you would see is students teaching their classmates on how to solve a difficult problem with the teacher sitting back watching them instruct. This is classical education in action. They have been given a solid foundation in Elementary (Grammar), taught how to think critically in Middle school (Logic) and now is the time for application - clear communication of what they have learned. (Rhetoric).

The study and practice of rhetoric is the art of communication through the use of persuasive speaking and effective writing. The calculus students use this tool when they instruct their peers through the process of solving an equation. But this is just the beginning of our Rhetoric instruction.

A River Academy education culminates in the Senior Thesis project. Students chose a topic and spend the better part of a year researching and writing this final paper. At the end of the year, they present and defend the thesis to an audience of their peers, teachers, and the public. To see this in action, watch one of our 2019 graduates present their thesis.

View a Senior Thesis Project