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Simple Steps to Create a Persuasive Speech Lesson Plan

When creating a lesson plan to teach persuasive speech, it is important to model what a persuasive speech sounds like by providing students with specific examples.

There are countless speeches that can easily be accessed online to help students visualize their task. Among them are a TeacherTube video of Angelina Jolie discussing global action for children and an audio clip of Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his historic I have a Dream speech. Once students are allowed to see and hear a persuasive speech in action, they’ll be more prepared for the written portion of the assignment.

Students of all ages and abilities can create persuasive speeches. Everyone wants something and is willing to try and convince someone else to provide it. Young children may want their parents to take them out for ice cream. Middle school children may want to have a sleepover with friends. High school students may want to persuade their parents to buy them a car when they get their driver’s license. If students are allowed to choose their own topic, they will feel more ownership in the assignment.

Next, students need to create a logical argument giving details about why they should get what they want. Some persuasive strategy definitions include:

  • Claim – Main point 
  • Big Names – Experts
  • Logos – Logic
  • Pathos – Emotions
  • Ethos – Trustworthiness
  • Kairos – Urgency
  • Research – Graphs, tables and illustrations

Then, students can begin to write the speech.

  • The Introduction should include the main topic and the argument
  • The body of the paper should include correct sequencing of examples and a counter argument
  • The conclusion should make a strong statement and give a call to action

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When writing a persuasive speech, students should make sure their facts are accurate and their voice is expressed. If students are having trouble creating the essay, using a graphic organizer is sometimes helpful. There are many interactive organizers that can assist students, including the persuasion map.

Once students have written a rough draft of the persuasive speech, it is important to peer edit. Teachers can put students in groups of three to four and allow them to read each other’s essays. They can then give feedback about whether the speech is convincing and ways it can be improved. Often, students working together will be more effective than the teacher pointing out mistakes in the argument. You want to make sure when creating the groups that there are varying ability levels grouped together.

After the peer editing session, students go back and revise their speech. Classmates may have pointed out areas that needed improvement or clarification. Students often need a different perspective to make sure the argument they are making is clear and reasonable.

Finally, students should be allowed to present their persuasive speeches. Although getting up in front of the class is the best way to present orally, shy students could also be allowed to create a PowerPoint presentation that integrates the audio feature so they can practice reading their speech for the presentation. Teachers and students can complete grading rubrics for the student presentations. Students need to learn how to evaluate other students and provide appropriate feedback. Using a grading rubric is the best way to make sure the assessment if fair and accurate.

Creating persuasive speeches is a valuable skill for students to learn at any age. Whether they are trying to relay an idea to their parents, their peers, or their government, it is important to know how to create logical arguments and provide accurate, reliable support. The more students practice writing and presenting persuasive speeches, the more confident they will be when a real-life situation presents itself.

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