Tag Archives: Persuasion

Ping Pong Sales Pitch

20 Nov

One of my junior classes is about to embark on a unit in which they hone their persuasion skills.  As an opening activity I want to play a game that I have termed ‘Ping Pong Sales Pitch’.

In this game, students are provided with basic information about an exciting new product.  The first student standing is given 1 minute to use AT LEAST ONE persuasion technique to convince someone to buy the product.  The next student standing can extend that point, making their pitch using a different persuasive technique, or offer a new reason (supported by persuasive technique) as to why the product should be purchased.  This pattern continues until the pitch ideas are bouncing around the room like an out of control ping pong game.

This game would be a good follow up to a class discussion of Have I got a book for you!

‘Have I Got a Book For You!’

14 Nov

I recently happened upon an awesome picture book entitled Have I Got a Book For You!  I hope to use this book as an introduction to a unit about persuasion and marketing.  In particular, I want students to test drive some of the strategies and evaluate the effectiveness of each.

Room for Debate

20 Jan

A colleague pointed me to the ‘Room for Debate‘ columns in the New York Times and I am completely taken by the concept.  I love the idea of picking a topical issue, having source material from different perspectives, and then inviting students to weigh in with their own views.  Not only would this be a valuable activity when I take on my new debating team later this year, but it will be an interesting way of building the field for concept and issues studies in the English classroom.

Persuade me

28 Nov

I am a HUGE fan of using analogies as part of my teaching.  Not only is that how I tend to think, and therefore what comes most naturally, but it also allows students to make connections between what they know and the new information that they are required to understand.

Some of my favourites include:

  • A synthesis essay is like a waterfall… information from earlier paragraphs flows down into later paragraphs.  The result is a constant stream of connections.
  • Imagine that your essay introduction is like an invitation to a party.  In an invitation you include key pieces of information that guide choices made by your guest (such as when to turn up, and where the party is), but you don’t give them a run sheet detailing each aspect of the party.  By analogy, your essay introduction will provide key details (names of texts, authors, general thesis etc) but not detailed textual analysis.
  • A thesis statement is like Central Station.  You can connect to all major train lines at Central.  All your paragraphs must connect to your thesis statement.

As of today, I have a new one to add to the list: a persuasive essay is like a hamburger.

Why is a persuasive essay like a hamburger?  Quite simply, because of this picture.  The introduction and conclusion function as the two halves of the bread roll, the meat is your paragraph arguments, and your supporting evidence is the vegetables (the good stuff).