1. Before students enter the classroom, have the following
writing prompt on the board (or you may print it out
on slips of paper to hand to students as they come
Have you ever tried to persuade or convince someone to do something?
Has anyone ever tried to persuade you to do something? Choose
one of these situations and write about a personal experience
you had with persuasion. Make sure you include lots of details,
and tell if you were successful in convincing your audience
to do what you wanted them to.”
Give students 10-15 minutes to write about their experiences.
Remind them that
they should share only experiences which would
be appropriate for a school setting. You may determine a
length for this writing activity if you wish, such as
a half or full
page, etc. Ask a few students to share some of their experiences;
this is a great way to continue building the social dimension
of your class and to find out more about your students. During
discussion, ask students to specify if they were successful
or not in their persuading. Ask students to explain what
made their persuasive argument successful, or what caused
Hand out the article “Three Ways to Make Your
Communication More Persuasive”, or another similar
article on improving persuasive writing and speaking skills.
Have the class read
this article aloud or silently, which should take 5-10 minutes.
When finished, ask the class to summarize the three main
points of the article, and discuss the validity of these
At the end of discussion, ask the students to list what
they think makes writing persuasive. They may draw both
from the article they have read and from their personal
experiences. You may collect this list or have students
keep it in their notebooks for later reference.
write a letter persuading their parents to extend their curfew,
or another desired outcome (attend a party or concert, etc.)
In the engagement stage of the learning cycle, the instructor
should ensure that students are generating ideas and
exploring what they already know about persuasion. Assessment
of this can occur during class discussion, and you may
decide to evaluate the lists the students create in the
closure segment of the lesson.