Part One: Internet Research
A little research goes a long way. Instead of randomly surfing shopping sites, drooling over the latest electronic gadget or smartphone students would love to get as a gift, they will learn to back-up their 'wish' with facts. They will complete research on two brands of the same item, research five criteria, and make a report. This will give them the information they need to write their persuasive letter.
Step 1 -- Tell students they will be researching one item that they would like to put on their Holiday or Birthday wish list. This lesson works best with electronic devices, smartphones, computers, small toys, and gaming systems. They need to first choose an item and then choose two name brands of the item. (Example: smartphone with MP3 Player -- brands: LG and Motorola)
Step 2 -- Choose around five criteria for the item. This could be price, size, additional options, memory, color, service contract, etc. Have students put each criterion on notebook paper and leave space to write in information.
Step 3 -- Take students to the computer lab to complete Internet research. The sources need to be included in the report. Make sure when students write down information, that they write down the name of the site and the web address.
Writing the Report
Step 4 -- Students need to write specific information for each brand of the item using the five criteria. The introduction should tell what item the student chose. Also, it should include the reason why the specific brand names were chosen.
Step 5 -- The body of the report can include a chart of the specific criteria. Or, each criterion can be a separate paragraph where the researched information is listed.
Step 6 -- The conclusion should sum up the information. In addition, it should list the best "buy" or the best product by using the criteria to show why the specific brand name was chosen to be better than the other. If a bibliography or Works Cited is not included, the sources should also be listed in the conclusion.
Step 7-- Included with the report should be a clip art or photo of each brand item. The optimal situation is to take the students to the computer lab to type their reports.