Persuading Readers with Endorsement Letters

In this lesson, students explore the genre of commercial endorsements, reading a government document that outlines the guidelines for such advertisements in the United States. Once the characteristics and requirements for the genre are established, each student composes an endorsement of a product, service, company, or industry. Students create a class checklist and rubric for the project and complete a peer review session before publishing their finished letters. This lesson specifies that students write letters for their endorsements; however, the activity can be adapted to a Web page, podcast or audio recording, or a video. (from site) In this activity students will be writing letters of endorsement so that they can u201cwork as experts by choosing a product or service that they use and then . . . persuad[ing] readers to buy the same product or service for themselves.u201d (from site)

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience....
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or...
CLE 3001.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3001.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
CLE 3001.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3001.3.4
Revise documents to develop or support ideas clearly, address potential objections, ensure effective transitions between paragraphs, and correct errors in lo
CLE 3001.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3001.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3001.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3001.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3001.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3001.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning from various literary genres.
CLE 3002.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases
CLE 3002.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
CLE 3002.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, wellconstructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3002.3.4
Revise documents to develop or support ideas clearly, address potential objections, ensure effective transitions between paragraphs, and correct errors in logic.
CLE 3002.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3002.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3002.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3002.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3002.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning from various literary genres.
CLE 3003.3.1
Write in a variety of modes, with particular emphasis on persuasion, for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3003.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3003.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3003.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
SPI 3001.1.12
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots, affixes, and cognates to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
SPI 3001.1.13
Select the appropriate word among frequently confused words (i.e., to/too/two, their/there/theyre, it/its, you/youre, whose/whos, which/that/who, accept/except,...
SPI 3001.3.10
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3001.3.14
Select the most precise word to provide clarity appropriate to audience and purpose.
SPI 3001.3.3
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3001.3.4
Select a vivid word (e.g., adjective, adverb, verb) to strengthen a written description.
SPI 3002.1.13
Select the appropriate word from among frequently confused words (i.e., to/too/two, their/there/theyre, it/its, you/youre, whose/whos, which/that/who,...
SPI 3002.1.14
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots, affixes, and cognates to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
SPI 3002.3.11
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3002.3.15
Select the most precise word to provide clarity appropriate to audience and purpose.
SPI 3002.3.3
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.3.4
Select a vivid word (e.g., adjective, adverb, verb) to strengthen a written description.
SPI 3003.3.13
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3003.3.8
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.IKI.7
Evaluate the topic or subject in multiple diverse formats and media.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.IKI.7
Evaluate the topic, subject, and/or theme in multiple diverse formats and media, including how the version interprets the source text.
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.PKI.5
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze, synthesize, and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.KL.3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend ...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.VAU.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings in grades 9-10 reading and content; interpret figures...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.5
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.7
Conduct and write short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem by...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.3
Write narrative fiction or literary nonfiction to convey experiences and/or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • use technical reading strategies. 
  • review letter-writing conventions. 
  • review and discuss persuasive writing strategies. 
  • analyze a product or service and its related audience. 
  • compose, edit, and publish persuasive letters.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Rather than asking students to write endorsements for products and services that they use, have them choose a character from a recent reading and write an endorsement letter from that character’s perspective. This activity works well as a book report alternative.
  • If classroom and school resources allow, expand the project by offering students the opportunity to create audio endorsements (like podcasts) or video endorsements (like those available on YouTube). Be sure to check your district’s acceptable use policy and review the technology before asking students to work in these other formats. 
  • Political endorsements often include many of the same qualities as product and service endorsements, though they do not fall under the FTC Guides. Share Chuck Norris’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee to get started on a discussion of these political endorsements, and move on to consider the different kinds of political endorsements (e.g., by celebrities, by other politicians, by newspapers, by labor unions, by professional associations or member organizations).

References

Contributors: