All About Animals: Secondary Teachers: Lesson Plan 5: Persuade me!

How does this fit into the National Curriculum? Pupils should be taught to exploit the choice of language and structure to achieve particular effects and to appeal to the reader (EN3 1c); consider what the reader needs to know and include relevant details (1g); develop logical arguments and cite evidence (1i); use persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices (1j); anticipate reader reaction, counter opposing views and use language to gain attention and sustain interest (1k); plan, draft, redraft and proofread their work on paper and screen (2a).

Teachers’ Note: This lesson is designed to help pupils write persuasively. They should be encouraged to think clearly about the best ways to persuade the reader that the views they put forward are the right ones. They should think about opposing views and answer those views within their essay, citing evidence to support their views. They should submit their essay to you once they have planned, drafted and proofread their text and you should prepare to be persuaded!

Pupils should write about any animal issue they choose.

So you think you’re pretty persuasive? Choose any animal issue you like (maybe factory farming, depletion of habitat or cruelty to animals) and work on a piece of writing that will persuade your teacher that your views on this subject are the right ones.

Think about:

  • The language you choose
  • How to appeal to the reader
  • Evidence you can use
  • Anecdotal evidence you can use
  • How much information the reader needs to be persuaded
  • How to address opposing views within your essay
  • Keeping the reader interested


  • Be passionate! If you care about a subject this will come across in your essay
  • Research. The best way to persuade someone is to have loads of facts at your fingertips.
  • Don’t always choose the first word that comes into your head. Sometimes there is a much better word that describes exactly what you want to say.
  • Appeal to the reader directly (how can you not agree that …?) or use rhetoric (who wouldn’t see how terrible this is …?)
  • Don’t get too bogged down in facts and figures – you’ll send the reader to sleep
  • Paint verbal pictures. Don’t just say ‘this is wrong’, try ‘imagine you were in this position, how would you feel?’

Presentation is important. In order for someone to be persuaded by what you have written, they need to be able to easily read what you are saying. If they think you can’t even be bothered to check your spelling then they may think you also haven’t checked your facts. Draft a copy of your essay, redraft it if necessary to make sure your arguments flow and then proofread.