Lesson Plan

Persuasion in Advertising

Students explore methods of persuasion as seen in modern advertising, in preparation for Julius Caesar
Brian M.
Classroom teacher
Litchfield Public School (NE)
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Read and understand a complex text.
  • Evaluate the decisions that characters make.
  • Define and understand terms related to rhetoric and persuasion.
  • Analyze advertisements for their use of rhetorical techniques.
  • Create their own advertisements using rhetorical techniques.
English Language Arts
Grades 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Persuasion in Julius Caesar

Advise students to skim the given lines of the play.

1. What is Cassius trying to accomplish in his speeches?  (to convince him of Caesar's flaws and  weaknesses, suggesting he is unfit to be dictator.

2. What are his examples/evidence (plural)? Explain his logic. (Cassius saved him from drowning; he was "womanly" when sick; his  name is no better than Brutus's)

3. Explain how you would react if Cassius was making these arguments to you. (answers may vary)

Student Instructions

Review the following section of the play: Act 1 scene 2 lines 66-161.

Jot down your answers to the following:

  1. What is Cassius trying to accomplish in his speeches? 
  2. What are his examples/evidence (plural)? Explain his logic.
  3. Explain how you would react if Cassius was making these arguments to you.

2 Discuss

Activity: Conversing

Have students share with table partner their answers, especially to the last question.

Then ask for volunteers to share with the whole class.

3 Definitions

Activity: Exploring

Have students define the 8 given terms relating to persuasive rhetoric.

Example Answers:

  1. Persuasion: convincing others to do or feel as you'd like
  2. Ethos: persuading with speaker's credibility
  3. Pathos: persuading with emotion
  4. Logos: persuading with logic
  5. Hyperbole: exaggerations for emphasis
  6. Repetition: repeating words or phrases for emphasis
  7. Rhetorical Question: a question not expecting an answer, asked for effect
  8. Parallelism: using repeated grammatical structures for repetition and effect's sake

Provide the following link to students that are struggling, especially with Ethos/Pathos/Logos: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-ethos-logos-and-pathos.html

Student Instructions

Using your textbook and the internet, find definitions for the following terms:

  1. Persuasion
  2. Ethos
  3. Pathos
  4. Logos
  5. Hyperbole
  6. Repetition
  7. Rhetorical Question
  8. Parallelism

Be sure that your definitions are correct for the context of Rhetoric (e.g. logos does not refer to a sports symbol).

Complete this on your Chromebook, Laptop,  or personal iPad and share it with [email protected] with the filename of "Definitions - Your Full Name"

4 Finding Ads

Now that they have a beginning knowledge of these important persuasion-related terms, we will look at how they are manifested (used and visible) in the real world. There is no better example of persuasion than in advertising, which is almost always surrounding us.

Explain student instructions . . .

Student Instructions

Find an advertisement of any kind. It can be in a newspaper/magazine, on TV, hanging from a wall, on a website, etc. Collect an image of the ad (the web url for an internet image or your own photograph)

Write a description of TWO of the rhetoric terms. You can either use one ad that shows evidence of two terms OR find two different ads that shows one term each.

From your Chromebook, Laptop,  or personal iPad, paste your example(s) and explanations to the Padlet link included. Title your post with your name.

5 Creating Ads

They are now going to create an advertisement of their own.

They will need to think of a product or service (make one up entirely, or use an existing product).

The advertisement will use two strategies related to our Persuasion terms (but neither of the two from the last assignment).

Student Instructions

You will now create an ad. What kind?

  • You can draw an advertisement on paper
  • You can create one on the computer (in Google Docs/Drawing or any other image editing software)
  • You can record a filmed commercial of some sort.


If you are doing something visual, it should be colorful; if you are doing a video, it should be produced.

No matter what, it should like like there was significant effort and polish.

Write a description of how your ad uses TWO of the rhetoric terms (neither of which can be from the last assignment). 

From your Chromebook, Laptop,  or personal iPad, paste a link to your creation  and its explanations to the Padlet link included. Title your post with your name.