Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Logical Is Garfield?

Monica McManus


Students analyze the comics found in the newspaper for samples of logical, emotional, and ethical appeal. They write a paragraph for each selected comic strip explaining how the comic strip represents the use of logic, emotions, or ethics.


The student uses background knowledge of the subject and text structure knowledge to make complex predictions of content, purpose, and organization of the reading selection.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.

The student understands various elements of authors' craft appropriate at this grade level, including word choice, symbolism, figurative language, mood, irony, foreshadowing, flashback, persuasion techniques, and point of view in both fiction and nonfiction.


-Comic section of the newspaper (one per student)
-Construction paper
-Logic Checklist (see attached file)
-Emotion Checklist (see attached file)
-Ethics Checklist (see attached file)


1. Collect newspaper sections that contain comic strips.
2. Photocopy each checklist for every student.


The student will recognize logical, emotional, and ethical appeals in text.

Authentic Context:
You are trying to help your younger brother with his homework. Your brother is learning about logical, emotional, and ethical appeals in text. To make the terms easier to understand, you will use the comic section of the newspaper to illustrate the different types of appeal.

1. Ask students to brainstorm a definition of logic and create a web on the board with the responses given.

2. Ask guiding questions to help students define logic and provide examples of the term logic. For example, it is logical to assume that if the -on- button of a computer that is plugged in is pressed, the computer will turn on. It is logical that if a student misbehaves in class, the student will pay the consequences for the misbehavior.

3. Sometimes using non-examples to teach the meaning of logic helps students understand the concept. Ask students for examples of what is illogical or doesn’t make sense in their world. For example, it would be illogical to jump up and not come back down. It would be illogical for a dog or cat to talk back to a human. Students understand illogical more easily than logic. Accept responses.

4. Distribute the comic section of the newspapers. Have students locate examples of logic in the text. If they find illogical examples in the text, have them give a corresponding logical example. For example, if the students point out that it is illogical for cats to talk; the corresponding logic would be that it is logical for human beings to do the talking.

5. Distribute the Logic Checklist and ask if there are any questions. Make any additions or deletions to the checklist at this time.

6. Students create a display citing three examples of logical appeal in the comics. They cut out the comic strip(s) and highlight specific examples in the text. They glue the comic strip(s) to a piece of paper or construction paper and write a paragraph explaining how the comic strip(s) is an example of this category.

7. Repeat steps #1-6 depicting ethical and emotional appeal. The most difficult appeal to teach is ethics. Have the students work at home to define this term with a caretaker before having a discussion about ethics.

*Teacher determines the amount of time devoted to each term; it is suggested that at least two days be allowed to explore each term.


Use the -How Logical Is Garfield?- checklists provided in the attached file to assess the students' projects.

Which of the comic strips is your favorite? What type of appeal does the comic srtrip represent? Explain.


-Act out some of the comic strips and have the audience guess which appeal is being illustrated.
-Have a Socratic discussion about the effective use of these types of appeal.
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