Prompt: In your small group, brainstorm a list of people or organizations that influence your beliefs, actions, and development as a seventh grade student.
To introduce the concept of persuasion, I asked students to respond to this prompt in their small groups. One person was required to act as the recorder, but all needed to take part in brainstorming ideas.
As a whole class, we created a list on the board of student influences. As ideas were added, students shared specific examples in which these people/organizations were influential to them.
Before creating the bar graphs, as a class we discussed:
When would it be more beneficial to present information in a graph or chart vs an article?
Students then individually reviewed and evaluated the list on the board and selected the five most influential people/organizations in their life. They then ordered these people from most influential to least. Next, they evaluated and assigned a percentage as to how this person influenced them.
Reflecting about the reasons for presenting information as a chart, students created their own bar graph to display the influential people in their lives. The “x” axis was to record the people or organizations and the “y” axis was the identify the percentage. I reminded them that it had to total 100%.
After students completed their graphs, we did a gallery walk so students could observe who influences those in the class.
As a closure, students responded to the following questions as an exit pass:
1. Why is it important to listen to others' viewpoints?
2. What can one learn from others' opinions?