Introducing Pathos, Ethos, and Logos

13 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will take interactive notes about pathos, ethos, and logos.

Big Idea

What Does P.E.L. Stand For?

Anticipatory Set

10 minutes

Class begins with students reading a list of 5 advertisements presented on the Smart Board. I often use different examples for this part from one class to another, and change them each year, just to keep it fresh for myself. On a sticky note, the students are expected to write down which concepts (pathos, ethos, and/or logos) are included in each of the situations. All students do is write down the number of the situation and then the letter representing the concept. For instance, if Johnny believes that #1 includes Pathos and Logos, he would write:

1. P. L.

I use this as a pre-test for the day's lesson, to see what, if anything, the students know about this topic. 

After about 6 minutes, I share the answers with the students and trust them to grade their own effort. It is to drive learning and instruction, so I trust them to be honest in doing this. 


It is my experience that the students have very little knowledge of these terms when they come to me. I expect this result, but have them participate in the attempt still in order to hopefully establish an increased level of concern and provide a bit of a foundation so the students will be better able to start make connections earlier on in our study.

Instructional Input

35 minutes

Once we complete the pre-test, I have the students take notes in their ISNs using the Cornell Notes format. 

I walk the students through the PEL Presentation that defines each of the three concepts as well as providing examples of each for the students.

As we define each concept in the early part of the presentation, we take time to stop and discuss it and I have the students share examples they believe exemplify that concept with an explanation as to why they think it is a good example. I offer clarification and support when needed to ensure accuracy.



5 minutes

I give the students the final five minutes of the class period to complete the summary of their notes and to work on the left page of their ISNs, which includes a visual/color representation of the notes we took during the class period. This allows them to do some more processing of the information and make the necessary connections in their minds. 

For these particular concepts, the students tend to draw images that recreate some of the ads we looked at, or create their own ad examples.