The Power Of Persuasion: The Greatest Scientist Of All Time (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT share their informative poster and develop a brief presentation to persuade their peers that their selected scientist is the greatest of all time.

Big Idea

What do DNA, penicillin, and genetic traits all have in common? Each was discovered by one of the greatest science minds of all time. So who had the most important scientific breakthrough? It is up to the students' to persuade us on the final verdict!

Hook - Which Scientist Reigns Supreme?

5 minutes

Students watch the Greatest Genetics Discoveries: Gregor Mendel and record three facts or statements that support the belief that he is the greatest scientific mind of all time! If students do not remember three facts from the video, they can describe how Mendel's work has advanced our understanding of genetics and inheritance.

Students are watching this video clip to get inspired and hopefully comprehend the impact that one person's work can make on our entire understanding of biology. This video is laying the ground work for today's lesson as we are introduced to the "greatest minds in science".

Guided Practice - Gallery Walk: Selecting Our Science Superstar!

40 minutes

Students participate in the class Gallery Walk to showcase their research posters and attempt to persuade their peers that their scientist is the best scientific mind throughout history. Students researched their selected scientist and created their social media poster in the previous lesson. Here are a few samples of student work:

Sample Student Work #1

Sample Student Work #2

Sample Student Work #3

Student set up their posters around the perimeter of the classroom so that the class can rotate to around to each counter to view the works of art. The students rotate in a clockwise motion to view the posters for 10 minutes. To keep with the social media theme, students are encouraged to write comments on blank Post-It notes and adhere them to the sheet of paper in front of each student's poster as if it was the wall of the famous scientist's social media page. The guidelines to write on the walls need to be followed to keep the integrity of the activity. All posts on the wall must be:

  • written with a positive, supportive intent
  • classroom appropriate
  • written from the perspective of the scientist you researched.  

Then each student stands by their creation and give a short (30 seconds) explanation as to why their scientist is the BEST of all time!  

At the conclusion of the students' persuasive presentations, each student is given a raffle ticket to vote for their selection as the world's Science Super Star. The students place their one raffle ticket in the envelope in front of the poster that best represented their scientist to the class. Students cannot vote for their own and are encouraged to make their decision solely on scientific merit and not close friendships with peers. I count the tickets and award a certificate to the winner.  

Sample Student Videos: Persuasive Statements



Student Reflections to the Gallery Walk Project 


Close - Project Reflection: The Power Of Persuasion

5 minutes

As homework, students reflect on their experience of creating an informative poster and presenting a persuasive speech to the class. The students respond to the following prompts:

  • Describe how your word choice/tone was different when you were trying to persuade your peers compared to using informative writing to create your poster?
  • Discuss how the power of persuasion effects the scientific community.
  • In your opinion, is it easier to inform or persuade your audience?  Explain your selection.
  • Do you believe there is a way to determine the best science in history?

Sample of Student Work

1 minutes

The students have a great time completing the project and getting to know the greatest scientists of all time. This project requires the students to complete research on their selected scientist, develop a creative writing project with their Facebook profile page, and speak persuasively to convince the class that their scientist was the best of all time.  Here are a few samples of student work that were developed through this lesson.