Argumentation Structures: Rhetoric and the Art of the Breakup Letter

Rated 4.88 out of 5, based on 57 reviews
57 Ratings
The Rhetor's Toolbox
Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
7 pages
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The Rhetor's Toolbox


The lost art of the breakup letter is making a comeback! In this two- to three-day lesson, students will work in small groups to research argumentation structures, write persuasive love letters in response to a vicious breakup scenario, and present their thinking for the class to construct understandings about Toulmin, Classical (Aristotelian), and Rogerian argumentation.

Included in this PDF, you’ll find:
-A suggested instructional sequence
-A student assignment page
-Handouts for student research, observations during presentations, and feature comparison between the structures
-Voting ballots (16 to a page)

This has been one of my students’ favorite activities for the past several years. They love the friendly competition, the opportunity for some creative writing, and the performance element of the lesson. Above all, they are highly engaged in thinking critically about when, why, and how to use each argumentation structure to create an effective argument.

I typically use this lesson with my AP Language and Composition classes, but it would lend itself to any high school-level class that understands basic argumentation terminology (claim, evidence, counter-argument, etc.). Students should be able to conduct informal research and apply their learning with the support of their peers.

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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