LESSON 1.0 - OVERVIEW
This unit uses narrative to help students inculcate the hyperthesis. That is a name I coined for the Ancient Greek concept of the enthymeme, which Aristotle said is the heart of communications. He was insistent on its power. He said that if students master enthymeme + example, then they would know everything they need to know about communication.
Teachers and older students sometimes ask: If the enthymeme (hyperthesis) is so powerful, why don’t we teach it? The answer: Aristotle’s original manuscript was lost for a thousand years. When it was found and Byzantine monks copied it, they thought he had made an error. They inserted what they thought was correct. What they inserted changed the concept and so destroyed its effectiveness that history soon forgot about it. Only lately have scholars returned to it.
I chose hyperthesis because Aristotle, who was attempting to categorize all knowledge, clearly wanted the enthymeme to be to communications what the hypothesis is to science:
Talking is our most common communications modality. The first lesson therefore gets students talking. They move to writing in the second lesson.
This unit walks students through a step-by-step process of—
- Finding an excellent idea
- Organizing the idea
- Substantiating the idea
Starting with Narrative
Why start the program with storytelling and fiction writing?
To teach the fundamental structure of communications.
Some pedagogists insist writing is a natural process, but it is untrue. Writing is no more natural than is fixing a car. Only about five percent of students are natural writers.
Spoken narrative, however, is natural. Listen to a group. Once people choose a subject by spoken (or unspoken) consensus, they begin telling little narratives of what they have experienced. The delivery is unskilled, but it is still narrative.
Lucy Calkins, Kenneth Macrorie, Peter Elbow, et al.
By the time students finish this unit, they should “see” two images of communication:
Image One: The Communications Barbell
This shows students that the basis of communication consists of two variables (or “ideas,” for younger students) and one relationship. For example:
We then teach that, to be effective communication, at least one variable must be New (new + interesting) information:
I suggest you always capitalize New to distinguish it from anything “new” to an audience. I took out the garbage yesterday. That is new to the audience members but not New. They had not known I did that, but they don’t care.
Image Two: The Hyperthesis Box
We next transform the Communications Barbell into a three-part box. This is the What Statement – what we are talking about. It is technically an assertion, but there is no need to teach that.
had a problem with
a talking dog.
Finally, we add the Why Statement, technically called the causation. It tells Why we are discussing the What Statement: that is, why the What is true or important. 
For similar reasons, you should also always capitalize What, Why, What Statement, Why Statement, and Communications Barbell – to distinguish them from non-theoretical counterparts.
had a problem with
a talking dog
The result is a hyperthesis, aka the enthymeme. It says What because Why.