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Unit Plan - Advertising, Persuasive Language, and Expository Writing for Middle School

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Grade Level Grades 6-8
Standards Alignment
State-specific
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About This Lesson

Intended Audience/Grade range: Grades 6-8

Rationale: Persuasive language is an invaluable skill for anyone to learn. Everyone has opinions and values that are important to them, but everyone also needs the language to express those opinions for both personal and professional reasons. There are countless situations -- personal, academic, political, and professional -- when persuading others is important. Persuasive language is not only the bedrock of capitalism and modern economies through marketing and advertising, it is how social and political movements are born, and it often affects whether they succeed or fail. In the current age of the internet and social media, not to mention today’s political climate, teaching how to use persuasive language as a force for good has never been more prescient, or critical. For many students, mastering these skills will be how they end up ensuring that their voices get heard and valued.

Brief overview: This two-week unit will focus on advertising as a way of introducing students to persuasive language and how to analyze and critique it. This unit will serve as a lead-in to the next unit, which will focus more specifically on political advertising and messaging, as well as how to use persuasive language in speeches.

Timeline: Two weeks of focused instruction and practice, followed by 1-2 weeks for creative project work

Standards

Introduce a topic or thesis statement clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

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