There is a Journalist Inside All of Us!

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SWBAT...students will read a Time For Kids magazine and choose information in an article to create a poster that persuades an audience of their viewpoint.

Big Idea

We all have opinions on issues and can use these along with facts and creativity to convince others to agree with us.

Creating the Purpose

5 minutes

I want my students to apply what they have learned about using persuasion and evidence to convince audiences in this activity. I also wanted them to complete an activity that would relate to future college and job abilities so that they could give value to their efforts.

I start out by reading an article on littering. I share with children that I feel that littering is wrong and that the people should each spend a day picking up trash each month. I quote the facts written in the article and then show them the picture of a pile of litter.

I then ask how many students agree with me? All of them raise their hands, probably because I'm not asking them to pick up the litter themselves. I share that I used a persuasive argument to influence them about an issue that I felt strongly about.

I share the objective that today they will get the opportunity to be journalists and write persuasive articles that will influence their audience to believe what they believe about an issue. Good journalists share both visual and factual information with their readers to ensure they gain their support for their issues.     

Learning Activity

40 minutes

I show my students the TFK magazine but you could use any magazine or even make this an online search activity. The purpose is to give students choice and the opportunity to find an article that holds their interest.

I give them an outline of what steps to take and review the rubric for their creative posters. I share that they first need to outline a design on their whiteboards before they start their final projects. I share that they can cut out parts of the magazine and also use markers and paper strips to create their ideas. 

My objective for this lesson is to have students read for information; identify arguments/ opinions; locate evidence to support their claim, write facts that show credibility to the audience and then apply this to a creative venture that shows their thinking and finally to have a means to asses their individual understanding levels (previous lessons were more group based)    

I give students 5 minutes time on the clock to share ideas with their table partners. This really helps the struggling come up with ideas and the fast finishers time to organize their thoughts.

I then signal time to begin and put 35 minutes on the clock. Students begin creating and gathering facts for their projects. I circulate and keep them on task because they can get off task when they get too involved in a discussion about a current event or high interest topic.

I also help students to check for strong facts shared on their posters, neatness and readability. My stronger students were so creative in gathering additional facts - some did class surveys, some went online to search for additional information, another used an additional article in the magazine to support their first argument, and two remembered a prior lesson on pathos and found pictures to influence audience emotions. My lower students may have only identified one fact but felt successful because this activity allowed them to share their thoughts in their own creative ways.

Early finishers got to offer peer assistance to others and/ or editing help...or clean up the classroom.  

Closing the Loop

10 minutes

When time is up, we gather together, and I have students partner up and turn and share with each other with the purpose of getting their partners to agree with their ideas.

I then ask for 7-8 students to share their posters and persuasive facts with the whole class. Its fun to have them add expression or oral persuasion techniques to their shows and get their crowds involved in their ideas.

Here's examples of their work!

When we finish I ask them when would we use persuasive techniques in our lives? How does adding facts effect the audience perspectives? How do opinions and connections effect audience perspectives?

I share that our shift for this unit is to Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described. I ask students to evaluate if they met this expectation? and how they know this?