For this blog, Leah and I like to present ideas for various levels of students. And in general, we want these lesson ideas to be simple and easy to complete. This one is less of a discrete activity than a complete lesson adapted from websites Cynthia Zafft, LINCS Region 1 Co-director uses with her students. It is geared more toward learners in advanced levels, but I think teachers who are working with beginning levels could apply a similar approach but with different content.
I think something basic to most full-fledged lessons (as opposed to simple tasks or discrete activities) can be summed up in the following three elements laid out by Horton:
- Absorb (learners gain skill and knowledge from information presented by teacher, a question posed or an activity offered)
- Do (learners actively work on or practice with what has been learned)
- Connect (learners apply what was learned so it can be used in their lives)
This activity is formulated on this approach.
- Absorb: Use a projector and show the following YouTube video or portions of it to your class. This will help tap their prior experience with persuasive writing. Ask them about the techniques the writers from these ads are using to persuade viewers. Note: Teachers of beginning classes should select a couple of simple ads and talk about how they persuade people to buy products.
- After the video and discussion, decide (preferably with your class) on an idea or thesis you would like to work on together. As part of a pre-writing activity, talk a little bit about why this issue is important and bring forth any examples that prove the case in point.
- Do: Then show the class the Persuasion Map. Model how you expect students to complete this on their own by filling out each step, asking the class for their ideas.
- Connect: After you have completed the persuasion map as a class, have students repeat the process on their own but add the additional step of having students use the map to create a written document. Before they start, help them decide on an issue that is important to them or that they might use in their lives, such as or a letter to a politician asking them to vote a certain way on an issue or typing an email to a boss asking for time off to go back home for the holidays. Walk around and help them with navigating the map and using it for their writing. Before they actually begin creating a typed document, you may want to have them print out the map and get feedback from you or other classmates so they can then make revisions.
- As a closing, have students share what they wrote, preferably reading aloud. Whether in pairs or in small groups, ask listeners to respond. They should repeat back at least one rationale they heard and state if they think they would be persuaded by the argument or not and why.