Persuasive Writing: A Speech about Consent

From the Unit:

This optional GCSE supplement gives students the opportunity to link the content of An Inspector Calls to modern society and the topic of consent, whilst at the same time preparing students for the English Language GCSE. It can help students make connections across texts and works to develop their persuasive writing skills. 

This GCSE supplement is not a lesson and does not need to be taught as such. It is structured in such a way as to ensure that the various steps necessary for writing an effective persuasive letter are outlined in an appropriate order:  

  1. Engage with a stimulus (this step was completed in Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent)
  2. Develop claims and content
  3. Read a model
  4. Plan and write the speech
  5. Respond to feedback and redraft

You may decide that your class do not need to follow all of the steps, or that you want your class to do some of the steps in class and others at home. Engage with the supplement in the way that works for your class, adapting it to their needs as you see fit. 

This GCSE supplement builds on the work done in  Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent, in which students were introduced to the topic of consent by discussing Eric’s behaviour in relation to Eva Smith, by watching and discussing the video Tea and Consent, and by reading and discussing Chanel Miller’s Stanford Sexual Assault Victim Statement. In this supplement, students are asked to write a speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year.

Alignment with the GCSE Specification

  • Clear and Coherent Writing (Lit-AO4, Lang-AO5/AO6)
  • Knowledge of Subject Terminology (Lit-AO2, Lang-AO2)
  • Writing for Impact (form, audience, purpose) (Lang-AO5)

Students generate ideas for their persuasive speech, in which they must write for impact, considering the form, audience and purpose. Before starting their speech, students have the opportunity to review subject terminology linked to persuasive literary devices, if needed. The model and planning aid helps students write clearly and coherently: they are given inspiration for sentence starters and see how to structure their piece. Finally, if teachers are using Marking Criteria Codes to provide feedback and give students the opportunity to engage with this feedback and redraft their work, then students will make great progress as writers: they can improve the structure and content of their writing, whilst also enhancing their spelling, punctuation and grammar skills. 

Learn more about this unit’s Alignment with GCSE Specification.

Notes to Teachers

  1. Writing for Purpose

    In this supplement, students are asked to write a speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year. The fact that this speech is targeted at sixth-formers makes the writing personally relevant for the students as they will be of a similar age, and may well enter a sixth-form college after their GCSEs. If your school has a sixth form, it might be worth enquiring about whether or not one of your students can deliver their speech or if one speech can be sent out in a school newsletter. It is vital that students understand consent as it will enable them to have healthy relationships throughout the course of their life. If your students’ speeches are going to be used outside of the classroom, you will need to mark them and then give students an opportunity to redraft their work. Redrafting is a powerful way for students to develop as writers.

  2. Marking Criteria Codes

    We recommend that teachers use Marking Criteria Codes when reviewing students’ written work to help them develop the structure and content of their writing, and their written English. These marking criteria codes enable teachers to nurture their students as effective writers by giving them in-depth feedback, which requires proactive student engagement.

Materials

Teaching Strategies

Suggested Activities and Steps

Step One: Engage with a Stimulus

This step was completed Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent when students engaged with Eric’s implied assault of Eva in An Inspector Calls, and when students read Chanel Miller’s sexual assault victim statement.  

  • Inform students that they will be preparing to write a persuasive speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year. If it is useful for your students to recap their knowledge of persuasive writing techniques, give them the Persuasive Techniques Word Match handout.
  • As a class, brainstorm all the reasons why consent is important and write up the ideas on the board. If your students need help, encourage them to consider the impact that not seeking consent can have on the victims and perpetrators, and the impact that seeking consent can have on people in a relationship.
  • Next, explain to students that to write an effective speech, they need to ensure that all of the claims that they use are well developed and link to the statement: All young people need to understand the importance of consent. They should support this argument by thinking of relevant claims, and thinking about how they can develop these claims with supporting ideas. 
  • To help them with this process, give your students the Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development handout and project the example on the board or model your own, explicitly outlining your thinking.
Topic Statement: All young people need to understand the importance of consent
Claim One Supporting Idea Persuasive Device Supporting Idea Persuasive Device
Not seeking consent can lead to sexual assault, with dire consequences for victims. Victims can lose confidence in who they are and how they live. 

Descriptive Language: It is clear that assault carves deep scars into the minds of victims, haunting them.


Rhetorical question: How do you think it must feel to suddenly be scared about going outside?

Victims can have their lives disrupted by painful and expensive court cases.

Emotive Appeal: Imagine what it must be like to stand in front of a room and relive a nightmare over and over as you are mercilessly questioned. 


Statistic: Experienced lawyers can charge more than £200 per hour. in the UK!1

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  • Encourage your students to use ideas from Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent, but also explain to them that when they are filling in their chart, they can be creative with their ideas, providing their ideas are realistic and relevant to the central argument of the speech.  
  • If helpful, you can give your students the following claims or brainstorm potential claims as a class on the board:
    • Acting without consent can destroy a victim’s life.
    • Consent is a fundamental human right. 
    • Not seeking consent can impact the lives of those who are accused of assault.
    • Consent is very simple to seek.
    • Consent shows respect.

Step Three: Read a Model 

  • Once your students have completed one or two claim rows on the Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development, hand out the Persuasive Writing Model Paragraph
  • Either read out the paragraph to the class or choose one of the Read Aloud strategies. 
  • Then, give students ten minutes to read the paragraph independently and annotate its content. You may wish to give them the following questions to focus their annotation: 
    • Circle or underline persuasive writing techniques
    • Circle or underline the author’s claim
    • Circle or underline the evidence the author uses to support their claim
    • What do you notice about the supporting ideas? How many are there?
    • How does the writer link their ideas together? 
    • Put a question mark by ideas you don’t understand or find puzzling
  • Give the students ten minutes to discuss their annotations with a partner using the Think, Pair, Share strategy and then invite some students to share their ideas or any queries they have with the class. 
  • Invite students to revisit their Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development and add any additional ideas that have come to mind since reading the letter example.

Step Four: Plan and Write the Speech

  • Finally, give students the Persuasive Speech Planning Aid handout and ask students to use it to write a speech on the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of an academic year. Remind them that they should take their intended audience into account when considering how to structure and convey their argument. 
  • To help them with the planning process, you may wish to project this structure on the board: 
    • Opening paragraph: outline why you are writing – refer to the topic statement
    • Paragraph one: claim one + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Paragraph two: claim two + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Paragraph three: claim three + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Closing paragraph: summary of message and call to action

Step Five: Respond to Feedback and Redraft

  • When students submit their speeches, consider using the Marking Criteria Codes teaching strategy to give in-depth feedback and to boost student engagement with marking.
  • Then, give students an opportunity to redraft their work, taking on board the suggested improvements. It can be powerful for students to engage in real-world writing tasks, so consider having students share their speeches with a wider audience, for example at a school assembly or in a sixth-form college class. Students could even create an ‘Importance of Consent’ display board in a school corridor or classroom and include printed copies of their speeches, or submit their speeches for publication in a school newsletter or newspaper.

Citations

Unit

Introduction
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Get Prepared to Teach this Scheme of Work in Your Classroom

Prepare yourself to teach this unit by reading about our pedagogy, teaching strategies, and the unit's content.

Lesson 1 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Building a Classroom Community

Students work together to create a contract with the aim of developing a reflective classroom community, which is conducive to learning and sharing.

Lesson 2 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Exploring Where I'm From

Students prepare for reading the play by considering the relationship between the individual and society, and by reflecting on identity. After discussing a poem about identity, they write their own.

Lesson 3 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Exploring Social Inequality

Students explore social inequality in the UK, discussing how an individual’s background can impact their opportunities before examining graphs that display social inequality and employment trends.

Lesson 4 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Priestley's World and the World of the Play

Students learn about important events that occurred during Priestley’s lifetime, completing a human timeline to understand their chronology, and are introduced to the concepts of socialism and capitalism.

Lesson 5 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Treatment of Edwardian Women

Students examine various resources, including excerpts from Emmeline Pankhurt’s ‘Freedom or Death’ speech, to gain an understanding of how women were treated and expected to behave in Edwardian society.

Lesson 6 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Entering the World of the Play

Students begin reading the play, having applied what they have learnt about Priestley and the relevant sociohistorical context to make predictions about its content.

Lesson 7 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Class

Students explore class, status, etiquette and hierarchy to deepen their knowledge of the social expectations and values which guide the world in which the characters live.

Lesson 8 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Developing Character Inferences

Students are introduced to the concept of inferencing; they draw inferences from the opening scene of the play, and consider what messages Priestley sends through the language, character and setting.

Lesson 9 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Mr Birling

Students study the character of Mr Birling, critically assessing Priestley’s presentation of him, before using the character to reflect on how identity can influence people's views and behaviour.

Lesson 10 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Cost of Labour

Students explore the moral codes of the world of the play, before being introduced to the concept of a universe of obligation and participating in a debate on workers’ rights.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Letter to Parliament

Students write a persuasive letter to Parliament concerning the gig economy, having reviewed persuasive devices, generated claims and content, and read a model letter.

Lesson 11 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Sheila

Students use the character of Sheila to further understand the interplay between identity and choices, before going on to analyse Priestley’s presentation of Sheila in Act One.

Lesson 12 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Act One Review

Students consider the lessons we can learn from Act One of the play, before adopting the perspectives of characters in both drama tasks and written tasks.

Lesson 13 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Differing Perspectives and Conflict

Students begin Act Two of the play, reflecting on the differences in perception emerging between the characters and considering how conflict can arise from such differences.

Lesson 14 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analysing Gerald’s Character

Students develop their understanding of the character Gerald, exploring the differences between his treatment of Eva/Daisy and Sheila, whilst reflecting on Edwardian gender expectations.

Lesson 15 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Mrs Birling

Students consider what factors impacted Mrs Birling’s treatment of Eva Smith, and create a universe of obligation graphic representation for her character.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analytical Writing: A Character Paragraph

Students write an analytical paragraph on character having generated claims, selected evidence and read a model paragraph.

Lesson 16 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Eric's Decisions and Consent

Students consider the role power plays in the interactions between characters, focusing on the relationship between Eric and Eva, before discussing consent.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Speech about Consent

Students write a persuasive speech for sixth-form students on the importance of consent, having reviewed persuasive devices, generated claims and content, and read a model paragraph.

Lesson 17 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Inspecting Inspector Goole

Students create an identity chart for Inspector Goole, analyse his parting words, and look for clues to uncover who or what Inspector Goole is.

Lesson 18 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Social Systems and Individual Agency

Students identify the parts, people, and interactions of various social systems, thinking about what bearing they have on character choices and behaviour, before considering responses to injustice.

Lesson 19 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Putting the Characters on Trial

Students finish reading the play and participate in a court trial to decide which character is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith.

Lesson 20 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Bearing Witness to Eva Smith

Students reflect on Priestley’s portrayal of Eva Smith and consider the symbolism of having a character who only appears in the narrative second-hand.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analytical Writing: The GCSE Character Essay

Students write an essay on character having generated claims, selected and annotated evidence, and read a model essay.

Lesson 21 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

What Lessons Can We Learn?

Students address the essential question of the unit in a people's assembly, reflecting on the lessons that we can learn from An Inspector Calls.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Letter to a Newspaper for a Caring Community

Students write a persuasive letter to a local newspaper, which outlines the importance of considering the needs of others and suggests ways to create a more caring community.

Lesson 22 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Recurring Themes in the Play

Students prepare to write an essay on theme by identifying and analysing the themes explored in the play.

Lesson 23 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Theatre as a Call to Action

Students consider theatre as a call to action, discussing its power and limitations to spark real social change, before plotting their own play inspired by An Inspector Calls.

Requirements
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Alignment with Ofsted Requirements

Read about how this unit assists teachers and schools in fulfilling a range of statutory and non-statutory requirements as outlined in the 2019 Ofsted inspection handbook.

Requirements
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Alignment with the GCSE Specification

Read about how this unit is aligned with Ofqual’s subject aims and learning outcomes for both the English Literature and English Language GCSEs.

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