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Persuasion Across Time and Space

Stanford Graduate School of Education

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This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2015. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

The version reviewed was last updated: 11/01/12.

Background from OER Project Review Team
The Understanding Language initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Education aims to improve education for all students

EQuIP (Learn more)

Exemplar if improved (9.8)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 2.75, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 2.25, Instructional Supports: 2.75, Assessment: 2.0.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 2.75, Interactivity: , Exercises: 2.25, Deeper Learning: 2.75.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

None (0.5)

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This unit would be conducive in most classrooms, even for non ELL learners. With the rigor being so high though, it would be recommended to use this unit with level 3 or level 4 ELL learners.

The units are well written with much attention given to certain CCSS. The unit doesn't try and cover every standard so students are able to go deeper with their learning. Guiding questions that are related to the text are layered appropriately and make the text to task ratio strong.


  • Academic vocabulary needs scaffolds.
  • "Emotion Wheel" activity needs synonyms as well.


  • Change the 3 point rubrics to 4 point rubrics.
  • Provide synonyms or pictures so students can use word associations and make the words meaningful.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

The detailed explanations and high quality materials make this an ideal unit for any teacher, regardless of content knowledge or experience.

There is consistent scaffolding for several levels of learners, with an option 1, 2 and 3 on every lesson. The rubric is introduced before learning activities to help ensure purposeful work.


  • The use of the word 'persuasion', rather than 'argument'.


  • Identify the difference between the two, and point out where, in the unit, the transition occurs from persuasion to argument.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

Although the unit targets the ELL learner, a teacher could use this unit with minimal adjustments in a general education setting or with advanced students too. The connection with the CCSS and the necessary instructional shifts are very strong. Teachers will benefit greatly from strategies they learn as they teach this unit. It is detailed enough that new teachers would have enough support. Veteran teachers and any teacher that has worked with language learners will find great value in this lesson as well. The grade level band for this unit would be 7th or 8th. I would not recommend 6th grade.

Strengths include:

  • Specific support options for each lesson based on how much scaffolding teachers might want.
  • Good formative assessments.
  • Students are introduced to Aristotle's Three Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. They will use this again in their Academic careers, including in Advanced Placement.
  • The unit introduces students to famous American speeches and has sufficient support for students to work with word choice in these speeches. This is a key for ELL students.
  • All the instructions to teachers are very clear and teachers could just take the material and would not need to create anything new. It was easy to follow.
  • Because of the connection with the historical speeches, this unit could also be taught in a Humanities type course.


  • Upon first glance one would not know how long the unit would take from pre-assessment to summative assessment.
  • The rubrics in the unit have three levels. Many teachers use 4-point rubrics. (Both SBAC and PARCC use 4 point rubrics too.)


  • State how although this unit is intended for ELL students, general ed students would benefit as well. I recommend putting this in the opening paragraph.
  • Somewhere on the first page of the webpage should be an estimation on how long it would take to complete the unit - 4-6 weeks.
  • Change the rubric to a 4-point rubric.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This unit is very thorough. It provides multiple supports to differentiate and scaffold for learners (ELL's, 7th thru 8th, even 9th, grades). There are vocabulary and speaking and listening lessons/scaffolds that support the teacher. The unit also provides videos, speeches, and informational texts that are engaging and complex and span many time periods.

A teacher (various experience levels), that works with a PLC or team could use this as a stand-alone unit. If the teacher is working in isolation, it would most likely be difficult for newer teacher as it voluminous.


  • The unit, which spans five lessons over several weeks, focuses only on reading informational text.


  • Anchor the unit with a literary text, perhaps something that ties into the final post-assessment question.
  • Provide a rubric that assesses those concepts that were most thoroughly taught and formatively assessed in the unit.

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.