Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I'm Convinced!

Kerry McMillen


After learning about the various kinds of persuasive techniques used to sell products, students create and write an advertisement for peanut butter.


The student recognizes persuasive techniques in text.

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).


-Several magazine advertisements illustrating various advertising techniques
-Large jar of peanut butter and 30-35 plastic spoons
-Chalkboard and chalk
-Drawing paper, markers, or crayons


1. Prior to the lesson, collect advertisements from magazines that illustrate the various propaganda techniques.
2. Gather supplies listed in materials list.


1. Ask students to tell you what their favorite commercials are and what they like about them.
2. Explain to students that advertisers use certain techniques to persuade consumers to buy their products.
3. Explain these techniques and give an example of each. (see below)
Six Ways to Persuade—1) Repetition—Repeat the name of the product over and over so the customer won’t be able to forget it. Example—Dandy Candy for quick energy. Dandy Candy for a tasty snack. When you’re hungry, nothing beats Dandy Candy. 2) Testimonial—Have a famous person promote the product. Example—“I love my All-Pro Racquet,” says top tennis star Suzie Smash. 3) Bandwagon—Stress the product’s popularity. Example—Just about everyone lathers up with Sudsy Soap to feel clean and smell fresh. Don’t you think it’s time you did? 4) Name-calling—Stress the flaws of competing products. Example—The mechanics at Sam’s Garage don’t know a crankshaft from a carburetor. Don’t take chances. Bring your car to Gary’s Garage on Auto Avenue. 5) Emotional Words—Use rich, colorful language to describe the product and its effects. Example—For sleek, shiny hair alive with body and bounce, try Sally’s Shampoo. You’ll see a difference! 6) Faulty Cause and Effect—Promise that using the product will make wonderful things happen. Example—Brush your teeth with Tip Top Toothpaste and become the most popular kid at school.
4. Read and discuss advertisements from magazines and ask students to notice the kinds of approaches, words, and phrases that are used to persuade. Have students identify which advertising techniques are used in each ad.
5. Next, open a jar of peanut butter and give everyone a taste. Talk about such things as how it tastes, how it feels in your mouth, how it looks and smells, how it compares to other brands, its “spreadibility,” etc.
6. Tell students that they are to create and write an advertisement for this product. Tell them to begin by collecting ideas and phrases that tell who needs it/ who will like it, why you need it, what’s unique about it, how it compares to other peanut butters, how it will make your life better, etc.
7. Students must incorporate at least two of the persuasive techniques into their advertisements.
8. Allow students to share their ads with the class and see if the class can identify which techniques are used in each advertisement.
9. Turn in to teacher for assessment.


Assessment of students’ advertisements will be based on the following rubric:

Full Accomplishment (3) Student’s advertisement is appealing and informative and incorporates at least two of the persuasive techniques.

Substantial Accomplishment (2) Student’s advertisement is somewhat appealing and informative and incorporates only one of the persuasive techniques.

Little or Partial Accomplishment (1) Student has difficulty producing an appealing and informative advertisement and does not attempt to incorporate any of the advertising techniques.
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