Take Action - Making Films
as a Writer Would
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- Identify various persuasive techniques in documentaries
Students build on their understanding of documentaries by focusing specifically on the persuasive techniques that are used in this genre.
- How is persuasion used in documentaries?
- What makes a documentary compelling?
Recommended Time:90 minutes
Common Core State Standards:
In small groups, students watch the same films as they did in the prior lesson, though this time with a much more specific focus on the techniques used to persuade the audience.
As they view the films, students ask themselves:
- Where do I see examples of persuasion?
- How is sound used as a persuasive technique?
- Students track responses to these questions.
- The class reconvenes to discuss and chart responses.
- Some things worth noting:
1. Persuasion can be visually created through:
– Powerful images – video, photographs, artwork
– Expressions on people’s faces
– Use of color vs. black and white
– Use of celebrities
– Use of regular people
– Clear calls to action
2. Persuasion can be created through sound via:
– Play on words
– Imperative commands
– Music to create tone
– Lyrics that add to meaning and/or tone
– Tone of actor/narrator’s voices