Teaching Ethos, Pathos, Logos with Commercials | Rhetorical Device Activity


Teaching ethos, pathos, and logos can be engaging with authentic examples from commercials. Teach rhetorical devices with these engaging activities.

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Teaching ethos, pathos, and logos is paramount for older students. They should understand these famous persuasive techniques to better their speeches and papers. When teaching rhetorical analysis, you will also cover ethos, pathos, and logos.

This bundle demonstrates examples of ethos, pathos, and logos with commercials and asks students to analyze how these incorporations persuade audiences. As a culminating activity, students will sort topics into their best label: ethos, pathos, or logos.

Included in this ethos, pathos, and logos activity:
✓ Power point: covers the definitions of ethos, pathos, and logos; examines audiences; includes four (clean, school-appropriate) commercials links.
✓ Questions: includes analysis of each commercial through the persuasive techniques.
✓ Culminating questions (can be done alone or in groups): ask students to evaluate and judge the best incorporation of the persuasive techniques, and to apply the knowledge to their speaking and writing.

✓ A “sort.” The topics are editable. Print and cut the pieces, and ask students to sort the speech topics into an ethos, pathos, or logos pile. Ask them to defend their answers.

Suggestions for use are included.

I have coached a speech team for four years as well as taught a public speaking class for seven years. I have used commercials to emphasize that famous speakers and marketers use exactly what I want students to use: ethos, pathos, and logos.


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