Persuasive language in famous speeches (part 2)

WALT: identify persuasive language in a text

This lesson continues on from the previous episode. Here, students are using a collaborative Google Doc to identify persuasive features in Leonardo diCaprio's speech about climate change.

The purpose of this lesson was for students to identify and understand the effect of persuasive language in speeches. I thought that watching a speech would be a more engaging way to learn about persuasive language.

Click here to view the extended plan .

Lesson reflection: My students really loved learning about climate change through this lesson. By watching a YouTube clip of a famous speech, they were able to understand how powerful persuasive language is. Not only were they inspired by Leonardo's use of persuasive language, they also learnt about climate change. A fantastic learning moment arose that I hadn't even thought about. Students started noticing that the music, the footage and the speaker himself all helped to persuade the audience. They said "it is more persuasive when we watch it Miss." and then started discussing the music, Leonardo's calm presence, the pace he spoke in, the music in the background, and much more.

Using high quality exemplar texts: I tend to use high quality expert texts (such as J K Rowling when learning about figurative language) as exemplars, over using exemplars that were created by students. I believe that the success of this lesson was mostly attributed to the powerful speech by Leonardo DiCaprio. Teachers are usually encouraged to use exemplars that are 'at students level' and created by students. However using high quality and 'expert' exemplars can be extremely valuable, as it engages students and shows them how people in the real word use language to show their purpose. Students still get excited when they can identify a simile 'just like the ones that J K Rowling uses', and get even more excited when they are able to use one themselves. I think this (and this lesson) shows how powerful 'expert' texts can be.

Something to note 1: this lesson was actually part of my previous episode. However, upon reflection I wish I had broken up the lesson in two. Although the group was engaged throughout the lesson, there was a lot of information to take in. I think they would have a better understanding, if the lesson had been broken down.

Something to note 2: We had a Woolf Fisher observer in our classroom during the lesson. In addition to this, we had problems with the tripod, which meant that the lesson kept being interrupted. While this did change the tone of the room and the flow of the lesson, I do feel that the group coped well and were able to continue focussing on the lesson.

Persuasive language: identify persuasive language in a text

For this episode, we used slides 1-6

Leonardo DiCaprio's Persuasive Language Techniques

Extra footage

Identifying and responding in the last section

Summarising our learning

Learner generated content

Chelsea Donaldson

Glen Innes School

Auckland, New Zealand

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand