This resource is a lesson plan that outlines the process of helping students learn about persuasive writing and speaking. The lesson begins with the teacher modeling a role play in which they try to persuade the class that they will be a better teacher. Students than take on the role of a well-known person and prepare to persuade the class both in written and speaking form why they should be President. The lesson suggests that teachers should show a series of commercials and videos of politicians to examine persuasive techniques that could be incorporated in student work. The lesson plan does not include links to appropriate videos. It would also be helpful to provide students with detailed directions and expectations for what needs to be included in the various parts of the assignment.
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Lesson Plan: Vote for me
Grade Level: 11/12
In this lesson, students will exercise their powers of persuasive writing and speaking. They will pretend to be a celebrity/historical figure of their choosing, and then, in groups, will try to convince their group-mates why they should be the next President of the United States.
Students will write a paper and create a presentation that successfully markets their adopted persona to their peers. They will do this by providing examples, listing their positive traits, refuting negative ideas about their chosen person, etc.
How can we support claims that we make?
How can we help others see our point of view?
How can we use displays, presentations, and other visual clues to further support our claims?
1.Teacher will greet class and tell them that they have a special visitor for the day
2.Teacher will turn around or briefly leave the front of the room, put on a “disguise” (sunglasses, wig, etc), and pretend to be well-known celebrity.
3.Teacher will give a brief speech to class about why she (as the celebrity) should be their new teacher, listing her positive traits and giving evidence as to why she would be a better teacher.
4.Teacher will “return” to the classroom (take off disguise)
5.Teacher will lead a brief discussion with the class, asking if the celebrity convinced them, and if so, how?
6.Students and teacher will review aspects of persuasive writing, such as stating a claim, forming a thesis, and then backing up this claim with evidence, or appeal to authority. Students should already be familiar with these concepts from other lessons.
7.As a class, we will go online and see how different politicians and celebrities market themselves on the internet, like by blogging about their charity work. We will also go on YouTube and watch a few commercials, and then discuss the persuasive techniques at work in those. The teacher will use a projector to project the internet onto a screen, so that the class can see it.
8.Students will then work on their own. Students will choose a well-known public figure to represent. It MUST be someone that the entire class will recognize and should be someone that the student knows a lot about. They will brain-storm reasons why they, as this person, should be the next President. The reasons can be silly or sincere, but the students must back up their claims with evidence. If two students choose the same person they will not be assigned to the same group, or they can make an argument that the other person is an imposter. If students need more information on their chosen person, or if they want to see how this person markets themselves in real life, they can go online.
9.Students will make a presentation or poster board that will help persuade their audience. These will be used the next day in class, when they get into groups and try to convince their group-mates to vote for them. Students cannot vote for themselves.
10.As homework, students will shape their bullet points from class into a written essay. The essay should be typed, unless the student doesn’t have access to a computer.
I will grade the students essays and their presentation materials. In the essays, I will look to see if they make claims and back them up with examples and other persuasive techniques. I will also grade their presentation materials for quality, relevance and persuasiveness.
» LA.1188.8.131.52: The student will write essays that state a position or claim, present detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support effective arguments and emotional appeals, and acknowledge and refute opposing arguments; and
LA.1184.108.40.206: The student will include persuasive techniques (e.g., word choice, repetition, emotional appeal, hyperbole, appeal to authority, celebrity endorsement, rhetorical question, irony, symbols, glittering generalities, card stacking, testimonials, bandwagon, image association, transfer).
LA.1220.127.116.11: The student will prepare writing using technology in a format appropriate to the purpose (e.g., for display, multimedia);
LA.118.104.22.168: The student will include such techniques as principle of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, and columns) and graphics (e.g., drawings, charts, graphs); and