Brainstorming with Ethos, Pathos and Logos

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT brainstorm ideas for a third draft of an essay in order to practice thoughtful choice of rhetorical devices.

Big Idea

Brainstorming with your head, heart and feelings.

Lesson Opener

15 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say, “Yesterday we revised our second draft to see what we already know about ethos, pathos and logos, today we are going to get ideas for our third draft by brainstorming ideas.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to brainstorm another idea of another topic of a persuasive essay, I am going to practice the skill of brainstorming rhetorical devicies I could use and the strategy of viewing commercials and taking notes. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Review the words ethos, pathos and logos

2) Take notes on examples from commercials*

3) Brainstorm ideas of how to use ethos, pathos and logos for a new idea."

Here is a explanation of the sequence of the lesson.

Active Engagement: “In order to give you ideas about how to use ethos, pathos and logos for your third draft, we are going to watch a couple of commercials. You are going to jot down a three column chart (ethos/logos/pathos) and take notes on each commercial.” I will jot the first down for them to show them my thinking and then have them work with a partner for the other two.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to practice the skill of brainstorming rhetorical devicies, writers use the strategy of viewing commercials and taking notes. They review the words ethos, pathos and logos, then take notes on examples in order to brainstorm ideas.

 *Shout out to colleague Jeanette Hook for this idea!

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: will say, “Now you are going to pick two topics (picked by me based on article I found on Newsela that are high interest for my students):

-Some things should be taught/not taught in school
-Football is dangerous/not dangerous
-Some/ none animals are too dangerous for pets
-Kids spend/don't spend too much time online
-People should/shouldn't be restricted to how many children they can have
-The government should/ shouldn't make laws in order to help the environment
-Fast food is bad/ not bad for you

You will brainstorm at least three pieces of ideas for each category; ethos, pathos and logos using two topics of your choice. You can brainstorm with a partner.”

I will show them an example of how I pick a topic and categorize possible ideas under ethos, pathos and logos. I will confer with partner groups about their writing.


5 minutes


I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: For today students will answer, “Jot down your topic and one idea you have for ethos, one for logos and one for pathos.