NF UNIT P2 Day 1

Day 1

Poem A Day:

You won’t have to ask, but go ahead: Ask the students how they “feel.”


Today begins the second bend of our Nonfiction unit. Today we will move from researchers of nonfiction to creators of nonfiction. Or in other words, we move from readers into writers. 

The objective today: Students will understand how nonfiction writers use rhetoric to persuade readers to think a certain way or to act.

For today’s lesson, I stuck to the basics- many of these students have zero background knowledge about rhetoric (the art of persuasion).

I defined the types of rhetoric on the smart board and then showed various examples of each. It’s a pretty straight-forward lesson, but the kids love it if you pick good videos.

For Pathos, we discussed the emotions we feel that are strong enough to compel us to act, (fear, hate, love) and discussed how each of the following ads evoked those emotions in the viewer (music, graphics, imagery, suspense, word choice, etc.).

I showed:


And, finally, of course: (cue the water works).

For Ethos, I gave some examples off of the top of my head (I may or may not have made up a story wherein Ben Roethlisberger takes NyQuil in order to prepare for the big game).

Finally, for Logos, we watched some mac vs. pc ads. There are lots of fun things to choose from out there.

Next, I modeled for students how I found rhetoric in my nonfiction sources for my Space project. 

This tied the whole lesson together. I cannot stress the importance of modeling your thinking and reading for students. This is how they learn to do it.

We also watched a few funny videos about Flat Earth in order to discuss common logical pitfalls that happen in the fun world of researching a topic. 

Active Engagement:

Next students had time to delve into their sources and look for ethos, pathos or logos. They worked on this assignment “Searching for Rhetoric” and discussed their findings with peers.


We reviewed the purposes of today’s lesson:

Why are we learning about Rhetoric?

-You need to be wise and critical consumers of information.

-You certainly can use it yourself when you are a writer.

Students were to finish “Searching for Rhetoric” for homework.