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Lesson Objective

SWBAT write arguments that are aimed at a specific audience.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Objective:

SWBAT write persuasive arguments aimed at a particular audience.

Essential Questions:

• What does my audience care about?
• How can I make best use of ethos, pathos, and logos?


“Persuasion: Considering the Audience”

Materials Needed:

Audience notes sheet
List of writing prompts
Homework sheets

Lesson Plan: I Do

After going over the warm-up, teacher leads students through some notes on how to devise pointed arguments—ones that aim directly at an audience’s heart.

Lesson Plan: We Do Together

Students gradually begin to offer examples of particularly persuasive arguments for the audience in question (“Mr. Ugly”). Other class members write down the arguments, record how successful each attempt is.

Lesson Plan: You Do

Students, who have plenty of examples of both successful and unsuccessful lines of persuasion, come up with three lines of persuasion for a situation of their choosing (teacher offers those examples on a conjoined worksheet).

Assessment of Objective Met
(Closure, Exit Ticket, Collected Classwork, etc)

CFUs through calling on students to offer their arguments.

Classwork collected.


Students who finish coming up with lines of argument can draft a letter that uses all three in an aesthetically pleasing way.

1. What went well?

2. What would you change?

3. What needs explanation?

 This is one of the better lessons for engagement that I've ever devised--the appeal of actually having a real-time argument activates rhetorical skills in students that they didn't even know they had.

 The connection between the argument between students and teacher and the arguments being written on the page are not always immediately obvious--I think the lesson could definitely be strengthened in its transition from whole-class activity to individual writing on much more abstract cases of persuasion.

When the teacher "plays" Mr. Ugly, s/he should be clear that certain student arguments just don't work--and need to be revised to include things that the imaginary teacher in question actually cares about. 

Lesson Resources

Lesson 05 Audience teacher  
Lesson 05 Audience  
cw Audience  


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