I begin an introduction of persuasive techniques by playing two videos that explains this process. The first video: Introduction to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos introduces and explains the concepts of pathos, logos, ethos in depth. The Ethos, Logos, Pathos video discusses the application of these three rhetorical techniques. Then, we begin discussion of how students have used these strategies in real world applications. For example, the second video shows how the three persuasive techniques were used to convince Mom to buy pizza for dinner. Now, students discuss other ways to apply these techniques. Using the brochure on Rhetorical Appeal, we summarize the three techniques: Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Providing reasons and evidence to support claims is part of the rigorous expectations of Common Core.
The goal for this unit is to introduce students to different ways to persuade others to believe their opinion or claim. Persuasive techniques connect reasons that are supportive to an opinion. The Common Core Anchor Standard in writing describes the purpose of persuasive writing as a type of text that argues by supporting claims with valid reasoning. Furthermore, relevant and sufficient evidence sustains the claim.
I ask students to work in collaborative groups. We review Cooperative Groups rules, norms, roles for collaborative teams to work effectively. Students are given construction paper, crayons, and laptops to create an advertisement that persuades its audience to believe you or get them do something. The leader of each team selects the topic either from the card of topic ideas (topic choices can be cut into cards) or come up with a claim of their own choosing, Students can choose ideas from the cards: Persuasive Topic 1 or Persuasive Topics 2. The teams decide what they want to write/draw about and orally present by the end of this activity. Groups can discuss and incorporate Ethos, Pathos, Logos to support their claim per topic. Each group has a laptop so that they can conduct research that supports their claim. I circulate as needed and allow students to collaborate ideas.
Students review the Promethean chart and take turns explaining each of the three persuasive techniques (Ethos, Pathos, Logos) presented today. They take turns sharing their advertisement. I ask them to identify which persuasive technique they used and elaborate on them. One group wanted to persuade people to adopt stray animals. As evidenced in their pathos: Student Sample, this group of students explained that their drawing and captions appeal to emotions, and identified their strategy as "pathos" because the stray animals are often caged and unhappy. Communicating content knowledge through listening and speaking activities is an important part of Common Core English Language Arts. Applying knowledge to performance tasks, such as creating an advertisement that convinces an audience to do something or believe your view makes learning even more meaningful because of its usefulness in students' every day lives. Translating classroom knowledge into real world situations is key to my teaching of the Common Core.
In addition to presenting our advertisements, we also reflected on our learning today. Student feedback indicated that this was a far too complex topic to tackle in one day. Therefore, I plan on revisiting each of these persuasive technique in a deeper fashion, by taking a lesson to explore one technique at a time, instead of three techniques in one lesson.