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rehtorical - persuasive writing

Teacher Preparation
Learning intentions:
Students will Identify rhetorical devices in texts.
Students understand the impacts of mobile phones on their
own lives.
Students will refer to research to support persuasive text
Students understand rhetorical devices.
Success criteria:
Students create a persuasive text that incorporates rhetorical devices
Teacher content information: By the end of today, most of us will have checked our phones over 150
times: on the toilet, in the car or at the dinner table. But, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves - is
there a time and a place? Is our mobile phone use affecting our health and wellbeing?
It’s People Like Us is a 22 minute documentary that follows five real Australians who, just like us, have
found themselves drawn into their screens, sometimes at the expense of common sense and self
The documentary forms part of the TACs ‘Towards Zero’ vision for a future free of deaths and serious
injuries on our roads. The vision acknowledges that as humans, we make mistakes. But when those
mistakes happen on our roads we come off second best. As a community, we need to work together to
ensure we have a safe road system in place. Towards Zero emphasizes that road safety is a shared
responsibility which can be developed through understanding of what can benefit our health and
wellbeing as well as self awareness and personal reflection of how we can foster healthy behaviour.
It’s People Like Us and associated clips will enable students to explore perspectives on the scientific,
psychological, social, health and wellbeing impacts of mobile phone use, including the ideas that:
there are many perspectives on mobile phone use
our relationships with our phones are complex
people make mistakes
people are vulnerable and have limited tolerance to injuries
This lesson has been created
in partnership with the TAC.
©2019 Cool Australia
Page 1 of 5
Additional information:
Factsheet: The Impact of Distractions on Safe Driving
Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland: Mobile Phone Use & Distraction
Queensland University of Technology: News - Drivers “hooked” to mobile phones more likely to
sneakily text
Teaching Sequence
20 minutes - Part A: Overview of the Task
30 minutes - Part B: Thinking Through the Options
40+ minutes - Part C: Completing the Assessment
30 minutes - Reflection
Work through this resource material in the following sequence:
Note: When considering the assessment options below, there is scope to modify to suit the needs and
nuances of your students. Where relevant, tasks can be adapted to suit small group work, or modes
can be adapted to be presented in spoken or written formats.
Before commencing the assessment, consider the imperatives of assessment in your context, include
specific task sheets, criterion for assessment/assessment scales or rubrics etc., and the method and
manner in which reporting takes place.
Part A: Overview of the Task
Step 1. Provide students with an opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt during the study of
It’s People Like Us. Work with the class to create a mind-map that shows what they understand about
the impact of mobile phone use on society.
Write the phrase ‘Impact of mobile phones on society’ in the centre of the whiteboard. You could
scribe students’ ideas for this activity, or ask students to come up to the whiteboard and work
collaboratively to create the mind-map.
While students are sharing their ideas, encourage them to think about what is important to them and
to consider all content explored to date. Remind the class about the short clips they watched, the
factsheets they read, the It’s People Like Us website and the full 22 minute documentary. Encourage
students to recall what they heard, saw, thought, felt. Once students’ main ideas and recollections are
on the board, work with the class to create connections between each of the ideas.
Step 2. Invite students to summarise their responses to the documentary and its message in the space
provided on the Student Worksheet.
Step 3. Explain to students that after viewing and analysing It’s People Like Us and the issues and
perspectives that arise from the documentary, they now have the opportunity to persuade an
audience about the impact of mobile phone use on society as well as why and how to make positive
This lesson has been created
in partnership with the TAC.
©2019 Cool Australia
Page 2 of 5
Introduce the tasks as you normally would when introducing assessment pieces to the class.
Project the following task description for students to see (also available on the Student Worksheet).
Task Description
You have been invited to represent the views of a
young person during a community information
session held to highlight the impact of mobile
phones on society.
Context (hypothetical):
Members of the community and various
organisations have been invited to attend. One of
the key purposes of the session is to see and hear
examples of the ways that the message about
mobile phone use can be shared in the most
effective way possible, so that real behaviour
change can occur.
Your task is to use language and communication
skills to influence people to make change in
relation to attitudes and values towards the use of
mobile phones.
You need to consider and choose:
What is the attitude, value or belief you want to
What is the message you want to send to change
Who are you directly addressing with your
Who are you indirectly addressing?
Your GENRE and MODE:
What is the most effective way to send your
message to reach this audience?
Would a creative, informative or persuasive text
most effectively engage and compel your
Would a written, spoken, digital or multimodal
text be the best way to communicate your
Variable depending on format (consult with
This lesson has been created
in partnership with the TAC.
©2019 Cool Australia
Page 3 of 5
teacher). Guidelines:
Written: 800-1000 words
Spoken: 5 - 7 minutes
Multimodal: 5 minutes
Public speech
Feature article
Written opinion piece
Persuasive essay
Online medium - blog, vlog, etc.
Short advertisement with print campaign
Short narrative, abstract or documentary film
Some suggested genres/modes:
Step 4. Distribute a copy of the Persuasive Piece - Assessment Rubric to students and read through as a
class, highlighting the criteria and the achievement level descriptions. Students can use the Persuasive
Language factsheet to help plan their piece.
Note: To support your students’ needs or to fit more effectively within your school’s assessment plan,
the modes and genre students select to meet the requirements can be modified. For example, if you
need to assess persuasive language or a public persuasive genre, students could be presented with
some specific options such as a persuasive speech, opinion column, or feature article, etc. with some
scaffolding to support that genre.
Part B: Thinking Through the Options
Step 1. Explain to students that before they jump in and start the assessment task, they could start by
considering the merits, challenges and expected outcomes of their ideas. Invite students to take about
10 minutes to re-read the task carefully and to brainstorm topics, people, issues or aspects of the topic
that they could use as a focus for their message.
Once students have identified a message or attitude/value/belief they are interested in changing, they
should think about what they can do with respect to language and communication in order to compel
change. Part of this will require them to focus on how they can apply what they learned about the
rhetorical devices of Pathos, Logos and Ethos throughout the unit.
Students can use the Persuasive Piece Planning Tool to brainstorm the contention of their piece, the
genre they will present in, the facts/opinions they will include and the manner in which they will
incorporate rhetorical devices into their piece.
Guide students to use the It’s People Like Us website (http://www.itspeoplelikeus.com.au/) as well as
the Towards Zero website (https://www.towardszero.vic.gov.au/) as reliable sources of information to
include in their piece.
This lesson has been created
in partnership with the TAC.
©2019 Cool Australia
Page 4 of 5
Step 2. At the conclusion of this brainstorming process, invite students to share some of their ideas
with the class and facilitate any discussion or sharing of ideas. This step could be extended by grouping
students based on their ideas. Once students are grouped, they could collaborate to discuss and
extend their initial ideas.
Hot tip: If you have nominated to set a specific task, this stage of the lesson/process can be modified
to allow for some preliminary planning time. Invite students to use this time to map out some different
ideas for their response and consider where they might be able to find background information.
Part C: Completing the Assessment
After students have completed the ideation process and discussed their ideas they should begin to
plan and draft their piece. The task could be completed over the course of the next few lessons or
weeks depending on student needs and how this assessment is being implemented.
Invite students to respond to the questions on the Student Worksheet after completing the
assessment task to reflect on the process that they went through to brainstorm, plan, draft and
complete the piece.
What process did you go through to produce this piece?
What resources did you use while working on this piece? Which ones were especially helpful?
Which ones would you use again?
How do you feel about this piece of work? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike?
Why? What do you enjoy about this piece or work?
What did you learn about yourself as you worked on this piece?
Have you changed any ideas you used to have on this subject?
If you were assessing your work, what comments would you make about this piece?
What's the one thing you particularly want people to notice when they look at your work?
What is one thing you would like to improve on?
What would you change if you had a chance to do this piece over again?
What's the one thing that you have seen in your classmates' work or process that you would
like to try in your next piece?
Teacher Reflection
This lesson has been created
in partnership with the TAC.
©2019 Cool Australia
Page 5 of 5