Persuasive writing examples – KS4 moral issues lesson plan

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PDF lesson plan

Key Stage



Years 10-11


This persuasive writing examples lesson plan for KS4 combines a variety of individual and group tasks. They will get students exploring difficult moral issues whilst at the same time developing their understanding of how writers manipulate language and why it is essential to support opinions with evidence.

You can tailor each task to different age groups and ability ranges. The source material can be as provocative or topical as you like. This makes it perfect for cross-curricular links with a range of subjects, notably PHSE, RE and science.

As English teachers, our job is to help create free-thinking, creative individuals – yet all too often we end up telling students what to think and write. This is rather than encouraging them to explore their own ideas and develop thinking skills.

Teaching the art of persuasive writing allows us really to challenge, and be challenged by, our students.

Persuasive writing learning objectives

  • Develop your vocabulary
  • Analyse how speakers use language and different types of evidence to persuade
  • Create your own persuasive writing examples

Starter activity

If students can’t express themselves verbally, the chances of them being able to do so in writing are fairly remote – the ‘Yeah-But-No-But’ game allows every pupil to participate in a fun starter that requires them to support their points with a (hopefully) reasoned argument.

Show a controversial statement on the whiteboard. A pupil stands/up raises her hand and responds ‘Yeah but…’ and gives a counter-argument. Then another student counters with ‘No but…’ and offers a response, and so on.

The game continues until students have exhausted the arguments. You can use as many controversial statements as you like. I limit rules to the following:

  • Every student must offer at least one argument
  • No one may give more than five responses
  • Each response must counter the previous one – irrespective of the student’s personal beliefs

This last point is vital, as it provides protection for pupils being castigated for having unpopular opinions.

Statements I have found particularly effective include:

  • All religions should be banned
  • Teachers should be paid more than professional footballers
  • All drugs should be legalised

Steve Duffy is a quality assessor and English teacher at a large comprehensive school in Essex. Browse more free reading and writing lesson plans for KS4 English.

Persuasive writing examples – KS4 moral issues lesson plan
Persuasive writing examples – KS4 moral issues lesson plan

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