Identifying Persuasive Appeals in Advertisements

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SWBAT analyze how an author's claims are developed by evaluating the argument of an advertisement.

Big Idea

Students should be able to express what they know in an analytical paragraph.

Warm Up

10 minutes

As students enter, they grab their warm up page and answer the prompt:

Write a definition for logos, pathos, and ethos.  

Next, grab two partners.  You need a group of three.  Now, if you're the oldest in the group, you are assigned logos, middle is pathos and youngest is ethos.  You are going to teach your term to the rest of the group.  You have two minutes to decide on a creative way to help your group mates remember this word (L.9-10.6, SL.9-10.1a, SL.9-10.4).  

After three minutes, I tell students to present their words to their group.  I circulate and identify a group that teaches the terms well.  I ask them to come to the front and present to the class.  This is a great way for us to review vocabulary terms from yesterday and warm up our brains for today's lesson.  

Practice Makes Perfect

20 minutes

I distribute Authors+Purpose+worksheet-2.docx to students.  I also distribute magazines around the room.  Students will evaluate ads and list five ads under each of the categories: entertain, persuade, and inform.  Most ads can fall into more than one category, but for this exercise, students can only categorize each ad in one category.  This exercise will help students begin to understand the correlation between persuasive elements and an author's purpose. I hope students can begin to understand that often informational text, including visual text, has an argument and evaluating that argument is important (RI.9-10.6, RI.9-10.8)


I realized later what a gem this simple author's purpose worksheet is.  This  A great classroom document video explains it.  

Write what you know

20 minutes

I will distribute the ad+analysis-2 Word document and tell students they have twenty minutes to choose an advertisement and write their analysis paragraph. I want them to turn in the paragraph and the ad, stapled to it, before they leave.  In the paragraph, students need to identify the argument of the text and analyze how an author's claims are developed and refined by particular portions of the text (RI.9-10.8, RI.9-10.5).  In other words, I want students to be able to tell me the purpose and argument of the ad is to sell McDonald's French Fries.  The advertisement builds its argument with bright, American colors that help build credibility and cause consumers to have an emotional response, a motto most Americans know, and a beautiful image of crisp, perfect fries with perfectly placed salt.  Additionally, the advertisement says it has been America's favorite french fry for 40 years which also establishes McDonald's credibility.