Lesson Plan

Rhetoric and Facebook

In this lesson, students will learn ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos by applying these rhetorical moves to Facebook profiles of one of their friends or favorite celebrities.

Lesson Objectives/Instructional Outcomes: (Framework Domain 1c: Setting Instructional Goals)

  1. Students will listen to a personal story from the teacher about why rhetorical strategies matter in everyday life.
  2. Students will apply rhetorical strategies to Facebook pages of their choice.
  3. Students will answer questions about the ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos of their chosen Facebook pages.
  4. Students will share what they have learned with their peers.
  5. Students will write an exit ticket addressing one rhetorical strategy (ethos, pathos, logos, or kairos) and how it applies to one text that they have read thus far in class. 
English Language Arts
Grades 9 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction-Anticipatory Set:

Activity: Presenting
  1. While the worksheets are being passed out, I will begin this lesson by telling students a story where rhetoric became necessary in my everyday life. I will hold up my shattered iPhone, narrating that I was simply being clumsy and dropped it on my tile flooring. The rhetoric component was how I had to ask my mother for money to buy me a new one. I appealed to logic, emphasizing that while my phone was still working, it won’t be working very well for long and I need it as my main source of communicating. I portrayed myself humbly (ethos) by apologizing for my clumsiness and recognizing that I was asking my mother for a huge favor. I used pathos by telling my mother that the little shards of glass could start falling out and cutting my poor little thumbs as I type this text message to her. I addressed kairos when I said that this day in age, I really need my phone to stay in touch with people and be a functioning member of society.
  2. Because I used rhetorical strategies and constructed a very well-written argument as to why I deserved a new phone, my mother agreed to buy me one.
  3. So really, you use rhetorical strategies all the time in everyday life. I didn’t even realize that I was using them until after I had typed up a very long, well-constructed message to my mother.
  4. So today, we’re going to apply rhetorical strategies to something that many of use all the time: Facebook. The intention is to get you all comfortable with using rhetorical strategies so that it’s much easier to do when you read American lit. Then, you can try to make reading some of our texts more useful for you. 
Student Instructions
  1. Students should be listening to what the teacher is saying to learn an example of how rhetoric applies to everyday life. 

2 Instructional Activities: Includes questioning techniques, grouping strategies, pedagogical approaches.

Google Drive
Free, Paid
  1. Instruct students to open their laptops and go to their Google accounts, where they will find a blank "Rhetoric and Facebook" worksheet that I have shared with them. 
  2. Briefly go over worksheet with students. Encourage them to look at the definitions  of logos, ethos, pathos, and kairos that I have provided them on the worksheet. ]
  3. For further clarification, I (the teacher) will pull up my example of a completed "Rhetoric and Facebook" worksheet. On this worksheet, I have find examples of logos, ethos, pathos, and kairos on Colbie Caillat's (my favorite musical artist) Facebook and pasted them into the worksheet format. 
  4. Allow students to complete this on their Google Drives in pairs, if they like. Preferably, though, they won’t be in groups larger than two. This is so that later on at their tables, they can discuss the different information that they found.
  5. Students are not allowed to look up anyone in class on Facebook. This is NOT because I don’t trust them, but so that they are analyzing rhetorical strategies of someone that they can’t actually speak to in person right now. When we read a novel, rarely can we actually ask the author what their intent was.
  6. Allow students 30 minutes to complete this assignment. Walk around and see how they’re doing. Gauge timing based on how long this is taking them.
  7. Each student should "share" their findings to their tablemates. 
  8. On Google Drive, each student should read and leave at least one comment on each of their tablemates' completed worksheets. Allow students 15 minutes to do this. 
Student Instructions
  1. To get on to Google Drive, go to drive.google.com. 
  2. Sign in with your Google account. 
  3. Under the tab, "Shared with me," find the "Rhetoric and Facebook" worksheet, shared by Ms. Dorian. 
  4. Click on the worksheet and start typing in your answers. 
  5. After you have completed your worksheet, "share" it with your tablemates by clicking the "share" button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Then, type in your tablemates' emails and hit, "share."
  6. When other students have "shared" their worksheet with you, view their worksheet by clicking on it. 
  7. Leave a comment on their worksheet by clicking "Insert" and then "comment" on the tool bar. Comment on at least one of their examples that they have provided from Facebook. 

3 Wrap Up - Synthesis/Closure

Google Drive
Free, Paid


  1. Exit ticket to students: now please write an additional comment on your own completed worksheet, addressing the questions that I have written on the board: 
    1. Did this activity help you better understand rhetorical strategies?
    2. What rhetorical strategy (ethos, logos, pathos, or kairos) do you need to practice more? 
    3. Is there anything that I should change to make this activity more helpful or easier to understand? 
    4. Please "share" your completed worksheet with your final comment for me.