Strategies for Empowering Students


  • To enhance students' understanding of the different types of writing
  • To help students enhance their writing skills
  • To encourage students to use their writing skills for different purposes

  • Use of writing, reading, and thinking skills
  • Develop speaking skills
  • Develop interpersonal skills
  • Develop communication skills
Integration of Content/Subject Areas

  • Language Arts
  • Character Building
  • Social Studies

Students will listen to commercials on the radio, watch them on television, and read advertisements in the newspapers, magazines, and "junk mail" received at home. This activity can be done individually, in pairs, or in teams.

Have a dialogue about commercials and focus on how and why they are successful in getting people to buy certain products, cars, and foods. How are these commercials able to convince people that they should spend their vacations in a particular country or on a certain island? Ask students why their parents shop at a specific clothing or food store and why they purchase certain brands of blue jeans, shoes, or other items.

Have students read advertisements. Have them select key words or distinctive phrases that catch their attention or appeal to them. They are to make a list of these words and phrases and discuss the reasons for their selections.

Using these key words and phrases as a guide, the students are to select an existing product or create one and write their own "persuasive TV commercials." Each student or team member will present their commercial orally, using their oratorical skills to convince the class that their particular product should be purchased.


  • How did students exhibit their understanding of persuasive writing?

  • Did students demonstrate an ability to gather information from various sources? How?

  • How did students demonstrate improvements in their writing skills?

  • How did students exhibit improvements in their oral speaking skills?


Excerpted from Beyond Rhetoric and Rainbows: A Journey to the Place Where Learning Lives ©1996 University of Illinois Extension.