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Lesson Objective

SWBAT analyze a persuasive advertisement for its use of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Objective:

SWBAT analyze a persuasive advertisement for its use of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Essential Questions:

• What is the main idea in this persuasive excerpt?
• How does the author support his or her point?
• What are the definitions of ethos, pathos, and logos?


“Finding Ethos, Pathos, and Logos”

Materials Needed:

LCD projector, computer with youtube
Notes packets
Looseleaf paper
Homework sheets

Lesson Plan: I Do

Teacher leads students through first page of notes. Then uses the LCD projector to show the first youtube clip (BSPCA ad). Teacher fills out the first analysis sheet as indicated on the teacher copy of the notes. Take student thoughts and correct any confusion--make sure students appreciate that Logos is the shape of the argument, while the other two are "add-ons" that can enhance that argument's appeal to an audience.

Lesson Plan: We Do Together

Show the two other clips, and after each, facilitate a discussion of the persuasive techniques therein. As the clips progress, allow for a gradual release of responsibility--by the end, students are supplying all the ideas about the ads being shown.

It's also important to provide sufficient background about each clip--make sure students know that Lipitor is a medicine for heart disease, and that Joe Biden was taken to mean something different than he intended with the "global disaster."

Lesson Plan: You Do

For the final few blanks--pathos and ethos on the Lipitor ad--allow students to fill in individual responses before they share with any classmates. This can serve as a check for understanding.


Students who finish up their reflections early can move on to writing a letter that incorporates the strategies taught. 

1. What went well?

2. What would you change?

3. What needs explanation?

 The videos are a great way to drive home the nature that persuasion is all around--and they amp up student engagement as well. Make sure you allow students to really have their own discussions on the last two clips; the less you talk, and the more you acknowledge the use of new terms, the more students will make their own understandings of it.

 I might cut down on the length of the teacher-led section of the lesson; this edges out student input, and (while it's necessary for some students to gain understanding) doesn't allow the students to show their own mastery by the end.

 Logos is the shape of the argument; facts, reasoning, and support for a main point (which is an opinion) is all logos. This is why we show it in a concept map and not in a paragraph. Pathos is the use of emotionally charged language, and ethos is presenting the speaker/writer as an expert.

Lesson Resources

Video 1--BCSPCA
Video 2--McCain
Video 3--Lipitor
Lesson EPL  
Lesson EPL teacher  


Sarah Anderson Posted one year ago:

love this lesson, excellent into to Julius Caesar Act III speech analysis.

Jaime Dinh Posted 2 years ago:

I've used this lesson several times in the past couple of years--it's a great intro to logos, ethos, and pathos.

martha martinez Posted 3 years ago:

Very Helpful Lesson on Persuasion. Thank You!

michael bell Posted 4 years ago:
Great lesson. Thank you.
Ava Brown Posted 4 years ago:
This is wonderful! Thank you! I just scanned the lesson and you may have already included this.... but I 'm going to have students create their own advertisement or commercial using ethos, pathos or logos. My daughter just created a Barbie Doll commercial with two of her classmates and the experience was awesome, as it integrated technology along with the practical application of the content skills.



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