Texas Speech Communication Association
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Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan Type Standard
Estimated Time 3 days
Grade 9th-12th Grades
Author Ann Shofner

Overview  •  Standards  •  Instructional Plan  •  Documents


 Materials:   Various items from a dollar store like paper plates, flower vase, plunger, slinky, etc.

                        Handouts for:  Persuasive Appeal of a Product and Design Your Own Billboard

                        5 Magazine Advertisements

                        TEDtalk on How to Use a Paper Towel by Joe Smith


Hook:    Using the magazine advertisements, question students about what appeals to them about the product, what catches their attention in the advertisement, etc.  Introduce the idea that we are surrounded by persuasion daily and give some examples (asking parents for money, asking a girl to prom, shopping in a store)

Lesson:  Using the power point on Persuasion (see Persuasion in Documents), define persuasion and the three persuasive appeals.  With each of the appeals,  question the students about the pictures which appear on the slide.  On the ethos slide, ask them about each person and whether they can be trusted.  You will get conflicting answers which can then be discussed.  The picture on the far right is Julian Castro.  He is on the slide so you can discuss people that you may not know and must then simply listen to what they have to say and research what they have done.  At the end of class, tell the students that you are going to show them a fun video.  Use the TEDtalk "How to Use a Paper Towel" by Joe Smith  https://www.ted.com/search?q=how+to+use+paper+towels).

 Do not link it to persuasion but simply as a fun video.  The next day in class, ask the students the following questions:

          1.  Did anyone try the paper towel method from the video?  (At least a few students will have done this)  Did it work?

           2.  What were the two words that he taught the audience for using a paper towel?  How did you remember those words?  (talk about repetition and its ability to help you remember)

           3.  What language techniques did Joe Smith use?  (call and response with "shake and fold", always using "We" when talking about solving the problem of hand towel use, bandwagon idea of we are all in it together and we should all join in, along with the idea of "12 shakes" stemming from an even dozen, the 12 apostles, the months of the year, largest one syllable word)

Guided Practice:  After discussing the paper towel video, divide students into groups of three.   Display your dollar store items and allow one person from each group to select a product that they want to sell to the class by using the persuasive appeals.  Give each group a copy of the handout Persuasive Appeal of a Product (See the Persuasive Appeal of a Product handout in Documents).  Working as a group, they should determine how they would sell their product by using ethos, pathos or logos by filling in the page.  The next day, the group should present their product and their appeals to the class.  Handout should be turned in after the presentation and can be used as a grade.  

Independent Practice:  Give each student a copy of the handout "Design Your Own Billboard" (see handout in Documents).  Discuss billboards that are close to your school and whether students pay attention to them.  Ask each student to follow the directions on the handout to create their own billboard.  Each student should turn in their billboard design at the start of class the next day.  They may use their own artwork, use clipart, stickers, etc.  There should be a combination of words and pictures.

Closure:  Ask students if they have used persuasion to accomplish a goal and what did they do?