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Persuasive Essay Powerpoints

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Keywords: Persuasive Essays, ENGLISH, Photography, Argument
Subject(s): Technology, English/Language Arts, Photography
Grades 9 through 10
School: Frankfort High School, W Frankfort, IL
Planned By: Tara Sullivan
Original Author: Tara Sullivan, W Frankfort

Day 1- Students will take notes on the different methods of persuasion used in advertising and writing and will be shown examples of various forms of persuasion methods. (1/2 class period) Students will then be asked to identify issues nationally, regionally, locally, and finally within the walls of FCHS that could be addressed with a persuasive letter. Assign students to look through our school's handbook, and consider other possible problems that they feel need to be addressed at our school. Students should bring in a list of their three top choices.

Day 2 - Have students share issues and come up with any additional issues in a brainstorming session. When all issues have been listed on the board, have students select the issue they want to address. Each student should have a different issue to prevent overlap.

Talk about audience and to whom the issue should be addressed. Then using a graphic organizer web, students will develop arguments using at least three facts, statistics, or examples for each main reason that supports the students' opinions. Web should be completed for class the following day.

Day 3 - Digital documentation - using digital cameras, students will document problems related to the issue they are supporting. For example, if a student is trying to persuade the school board to repair cracked walls, pictures can be taken of spots needing repair. The pictures can be literal representations of issues, or can be symbolic, as many issues will not have a physical form. Have students brainstorm a list of images associated with the problem, then arrange for students to have a photo shoot.

Day 4, 5, & 6 Allow time for finishing of photography and writing portion of project, but designate computer lab time to have students compile photos and data into a PowerPoint presentation suitable for submission to their selected audience.

Present PowerPoint shows to various authority figures by appointment.

I have done this project for the last two years (without the digital photography portion) and have had excellent results. It gives students a voice in the writing process and allows them to pick themes that are relevant to them personally. Topics have ranged from support for school uniforms to removing the ban on facial piercings. Both topics (and others) were excellently supported and presented.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Social studies - Compare how persuasive letter writing and presentations are related to process of submitting bills to the Constitution and how lobbyists gain support for programs. Also, political advertising techniques relate to the persuasive process.

Graphic design and business department could be involved with further development of PowerPoint production.
Have students attend school board meeting if related issues are to be discussed and write letters of appreciation or regret depending on the outcome.
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Slideshow, Word Processor, Digital SLR, Mobile Labs, Batteries