ETEC 562 Spring 2016 Final Project

Understanding Persuasive Techniques - Writing Persuasively

Description of Unit, Objectives, Audience, Expected Time, and Learning Theories

Unit Summary:

This is a persuasive unit of study that focuses on persuasive techniques used in today's society and focuses on writing a persuasive paper. Students will study Ethos, Logos, and Pathos techniques to determine how they are used in the media to persuade individuals. In addition, students will have the opportunity to work with a group to create their own commercial. Finally, students will use the writing process to write a persuasive paper on a topic of choice or one assigned by the teacher.


Various technologies are incorporated throughout the unit.

The first technology site is This site allows students to create word art using words related to the topic. This "word art" will then be displayed in the class as Anchor Charts for students to refer to during the unit.

The second technology site is Prezi. This is used to allow students to watch a presentation at his or her own speed and take notes over information provided. In this manner, students will be able to watch, review, start, and stop the presentation when needed so that information can be clarified.

The third type technology incorporated is youtube which students will access to view videos depicting various types of commercials. Students will work independently to view, identify, and analyze the commercials in order to determine the students' understanding of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos and gather ideas they can later incorporate into the group commercial.

Next is the use of various technologies for communication between students when not in the classroom. Technology sites such as todaysmeet, padlet, and google hangout will allow students to collaborate with each other in different locations when creating a group project commercial.

Students will use technology such as youtube, blabberize, replay, smore. and google slides to actually create the group commercial. This commercial will be presented to the class.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to use word processing tools and google docs to write a persuasive paper and receive feedback on it from multiple sources.

Instructional Theories:

My beliefs of learning are closely related to both Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and Vygotsky's Social Development Theory; however, because I lean more toward Vygotsky's bleiefs, I have activities that are more closely designed to allow for social conversations and communications in which students learn from and with others. I have included activities that allow for learning through experience, interactions, reflection, and discussion.

Like both Kolb and Vygotsky, I too believe that learning takes place through interactions with individuals and the environment; learning is dependent upon outside forces; learners need time for personal internalization or reflection of new information; the learner is an active participant in the learning process; and finally that learning is connected to prior knowledge.

Instructional Design:

The instructional design I am most comfortable using tends to be Madeline Hunter's design in which the anticipatory set or introduction of the lesson is first, followed by the lesson itself. Group work and independent work follow. Then there is an assessment or checking for understanding which is then followed by reteach and closure. This unit will be a "modified" example of the Hunter Design.

Instructional Objectives:

The objectives of this unit are

1. To allow students the opportunity to analyze, understand, and evaluate persuasive techniques.

2. To allow students to use these persuasive techniques in writing a Persuasive paper.

Intended Audience:

This unit is designed for 7th and/or 8th grade students.

Length of time required:

This is an extensive unit of study that will last approximately 4 - 5 weeks. It can be broken into weekly chunks or done on a daily basis. To be done correctly, the actual writing process can take between 2 -3 weeks for the development of a well written paper. However, teachers will monitor and adjust as needed. The final evaluation grades will come from the commercial and the written paper.

Introducing Persuasion

This activity should take one class period.

To begin the unit, students will brainstorm ideas connected with persuasion including "what it is" and "how it is used in society." Both positive and negative aspects of persuasion should be included. An anchor chart can be completed listing words, phrases, and/or images associated with persuasion.

Anchor charts can be made using as shown in the image above.

Cooperative Group Task: Creating a Commercial

This activity will take 2 - 4 class periods along with outside homework time. (The amount of outside time will be dependent upon the work ethic and efforts of the group.)

Students will work in a group of 3 - 4 individuals to create a commercial using the persuasive techniques of Ethos, Pathos, or Logos. Students will collaborate in school during class time and out of school for homework using tools such as,, in order to combine ideas for the commerical.

This commercial itself can be created using movie,,,,,, or other technology forms (prior approval needed). A summary of the typepersuasive technique used in the commercial, reasons for using that particular style, and a group participant involvement reflection of group members will be completed by each member of the group.

Persuasive Writing: Independent, One:One, Peer, and Small Group Work

This is an extended activity lasting approximately 2 - 3 weeks in order to be done correctly.

Students will discuss and review requirements of a Persuasive paper including: Introduction with Thesis, Reasoning Paragraphs (Body Paragraphs), Conclusion/Call to Action. Notes will be taken in the student composition book detailing the required items mentioned above.

Students will write a persuasive paper using the writing process to include: Prewriting, Rough Copy, Editing, Revision, Final Copy. Students will post the paper on google docs to be reviewed and edited by peers. A "Clean Copy" will be brought to class in order to complete a whole group editing conference "Clocking Activity" before final copies are written.

The final copy of the paper will be turned in to the teacher for evaluation with a holistic rubric being applied.

Self Editing During the Writing Process: Independent Work

Students will self edit using an Abydos Ratiocination technique created by Dr. Joyce Armstrong Carroll.

Carroll, J.A. (2011) Ratiocination: Weaving the threads of grammar, revision, and editing. Spring, TX: Absey & Co.

Conferencing During the Writing Process: Small Group Work and Checking for Understanding

Students will have a minimum of two one:one conferences with the teacher during the writing process to determine what might need to be added, revised, edited, removed.

In addition, students will conference with peers during specific parts of the process to get feedback on sections of the paper such as introductions/thesis statements, reasons/facts/opinions/statistics, type of persuasive technique used (Ethos, Pathos, or Logos), and conclusions.

Possible Research Opportunities

When needed students may conduct research on using notepads, iPads, Chromebooks, or other electronic devices in order to gather additional information to better establish a view point. Research done might include facts, statistics, testimonials, opinions, or other relevant information.

Rubric for Persuasive Writing

Student Name ____________________________________

Rubric for Persuasive Writing




· The introduction grabs the reader’s attention and gives the topic

· The thesis statement is given and supported with details

· There are three well developed reasons for/against

· The reader can tell whether you are for or against the topic

· The Conclusion has a Call to Action

· Very few if any errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling

· A variety of sentences including simple, compound, and complex have been used


· The introduction grabs the reader’s attention

· The thesis statement is given and supported with details

· There are three well developed reasons for/against

· The reader can tell whether you are for or against the topic

· The Conclusion has a Call to Action but might not be very strong

· Few if any errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling

· A variety of sentences including simple, compound, and complex have been used


· There is an introduction

· The thesis statement is given

· There are three reasons for/against

· The reader might or might not be able to tell whether you are for or against the topic

· The Conclusion might or might not have a Call to Action

· Several errors in grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling are present

· Some variety of sentences which might include simple, compound, and complex have been used


· The introduction is weak

· There might or might not be a thesis statement

· There are two or three weak reasons

· The reader might or might not be able to tell if you are for or against the topic

· The Conclusion might or might not have a Call to Action

· Many errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling are present

· Sentences variety is limited


· The introduction might or might not have a thesis statement

· The paper is off topic

· There are not any valid reasons for or against the topic

· There is no Call to Action

· Errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling hinder the understanding of the narrative/exposition

· Very few sentence structures are used


TEKS Used in the Unit

8th Grade TEKS used would include:

8.14 A-E TEKS for use of the Writing Process (Students will use elements of the writing process - planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing - to compose text)

8.18 A-C TEKS related to Persuasive Writing (Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues)

8.17 D (Students produce a multimedia presentation involving text and graphics using available technology)

8.19 A - C (Oral and Written Conventions. Students understand the function of and use of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing)

8.21 (Oral and Written Conventions/Spelling)

8.26 A, C (Listening and Speaking: Students listen to and interpret a speaker's message both verbal and nonverbal; paraphrase the major ideas and support evidence in formal and informal presentations)

8.27 (Students speak clearly and to the point, using the conventions of language.)

8.28 (Listening and Speaking/Teamwork: Students work productively with others in teams.)

Student Self Reflection

Students will assess learning by reflecting on their writing. Below is a type of reflection students will use:

I feel that my understanding of persuasive techniques is (greater/relatively the same)


I can see that Persuasion can be used by..... for.....

One thing I feel I did well during this Unit of Study was....because....

One thing I feel I need to improve upon is...because...