Ethos, Logos and Pathos

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SWBAT revise for word and evidence choice by applying the concept of ethos, pathos and logos.

Big Idea

Aristotle’s bag of tricks

Lesson Opener

10 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 wrote our second draft concentrating on word choice in order to persuade our reader, today we are going to discuss how to choose the best kind of evidence to persuade our reader. The goal of persuasive writing is to convince your audience that your ideas are powerful, or more powerful another person's. The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion, appeals, into three categories--Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Now you may be thinking, BORING, but his ideas have been used 384 BCE! If people have been using these ideas, we need to as well in order to build up our bag of tricks for being persuasive." 

Teach: I will say, “In order to plan a third draft of a third idea for persuasive essay, I am going to practice the skill of revising my second draft and  strategy labeling and revising how I used word choice and evidence. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Determine the meanings of ethos, logos and pathos through a short video

2) Label my second draft as to where I used ethos, pathos and logos

3) Revise my second draft in order to have an example for my third draft.”

I will then show the students the short video and in order to have them write the definitions for ethos, logos and pathos in their own words. This is a further explanation of how I introduced the new vocabulary. I will then label my second draft and show them where I have used it. Then use post-it notes to add or revise my evidence for ethos, logos and pathos.

Active Engagment

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take your draft and label where you have already used ethos, logos and pathos.”  I will check for understanding by quickly reading at least two labels from every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember In order to plan another draft, successful writers practice the skill of revising their second draft and the strategy of labeling and revising how they used word choice and evidence. They learn the meanings of persuasive devices, then label their draft for it in order to revise their second draft in order to have an example for my third draft.”

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Independent Practice: will say, “Now you are going to label your second draft, then add and are revise your writing by keeping ethos, pathos and logos in mind. They should write for at least 20 minutes if not more. As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for“writing”music(I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them 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 an example of a sentence from your writing in which you used ethos, one in which you used pathos and one in which you used logos." The responses from the students will inform me as to what I need to review for tomorrow's lesson surrounding brainstorming by using ethos, logos and pathos.