Students will choose from three engaging prompts, brainstorm their approach using a note catcher, and then write a persuasive letter in order to WIN a once in a lifetime opportunity.
This can be used as a summative assessment to check for understanding with the following terms: ethos, pathos, logos, bandwagon appeal, rhetorical question, anecdote, and counterargument.
Prompt 1: A video game designer is looking for an experienced gamer to test play a cutting-edge video game that is still in beta. Pay: $25 per hour
Prompt 2: A rich old lady is looking for a house sitter to take care of her mansion and new baby kitten while she is away on vacation for 1 week. Pay: $1000 for the week
Prompt 3: Your favorite musician wants to give away their baby grand piano, an acoustic guitar, and an electric guitar to a young fan who wants to learn more about making music!
These prompts have been designed to ensure that students will feel as though they can "own" one or more of them and feel like an expert on the topic... because the topic is themselves, their interests, and their abilities. It's a chance to brag!
For an exciting twist, have students type out a final copy of their letter on the computer and print them out without their names. Collect the printed letters according to which prompt they answered, and vote as a class which "candidate" was the most convincing for each category!
For a rigorous and exciting activity to have students practice these 7 devices BEFORE they complete this summative assignment, see my other listing "Analysis of Infomercials for Persuasive Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices."
It's an engaging activity that will have students laughing and enjoying the process of analyzing a text.
Pairing that activity with this one could make for an excellent mini unit:
Day 1: Note-taking on the definitions of ethos, pathos, logos, bandwagon appeal, rhetorical question, anecdote, and counterargument.
Day 2: Infomercial activity, side 1. (Side 2 can be completed in class as well, or as homework!)
Day 3: Brainstorming for their "Win" response and drafting their letter
Day 4: Finishing draft of letter, typing up a final copy, printing, and handing in
Day 5: Whole-class contest