Logos, Ethos & Pathos, Oh My!: Flipping Persuasion & Logical Fallacies

In order to develop thoughtful and analytical citizens, capable of discerning truth and forming educated opinions, I believe it is vital to teach my freshmen about the three tenets of persuasion - logos, ethos, and pathos - as well as logical fallacies.

While I used to teach logos, ethos, and pathos through direct instruction, once I learned about flipping the classroom, I decided to flip my lesson on persuasion using some of my favorite flipped learning tools.


I began with my MySimpleShow.

MySimpleShow is my favorite video creation tool because it allows users to upload a current text-heavy slideshow (or script) and easily transform it into a professional-looking two-minute video. MySimpleShow's algorithm reads through your script and suggests certain images to go along with your word choices; however, you have the ability to choose new clip art or upload your own images as well.

In addition, due to MySimpleShow's generous free classroom account, teachers are able to access all the premium features, including recording their voices over the videos as well, allowing our videos to exude a personal touch.

For my persuasion flipped lesson using MySimpleShow, I decided to break my lesson into two videos. I then embedded both videos into a Canvas discussion, asked my students to watch the videos and take notes for homework, and then complete the question at the bottom so that I could check for understanding. This homework took all of 15 minutes to complete.

(NOTE: In cases where I had students who struggled to complete work at home or if I knew I had time, I often use this lesson at my "Do Now" at the beginning of class.)

Once my students found current examples to demonstrate their understanding of logos, ethos, and pathos, I was able to then ascertain their grasp of logos, ethos, and pathos.


Because I was able to spend less time teaching these three concepts, we were able to jump more quickly into looking at actual writing using logos, ethos, and pathos.

Which lead me to using another favorite tool of mine: InsertLearning.

InsertLearning allows you to take a live website or Google Doc and insert interactive content such as questions, discussion, and videos as well as an 60+ embeddable content such as FlipGrids, Sways, Microsoft/Google Forms, Edpuzzles, etc.. (You can find the list of embeddable tools on their website).

I took two rivaling editorials that I've used before, put them into a Google doc, and added directions using InsertLearning. Students then highlighted the editorials in partners for logos, ethos, and pathos.

After highlighting, students could see a clear visual of how persuasion tactics were being used in the editorials. They could also very easily see that one writer argued more effectively than the other in that he used all three persuasion tactics and used a balance of them while the other writer barely used persuasion tactics at all. It was also awesome that I was able to access all of my students' work. Through InsertLearning I could easily view their highlights to check that they were understanding logos, ethos, and pathos.

These editorials transitioned nicely into the next lesson about logos, ethos, and pathos: logical fallacies.

Again, in the past, I've taught logical fallacies using direct instruction. I used to use a PowerPoint that included definitions and examples and I would spend a long time going over each type of logical fallacy, explaining how it worked and presenting examples.

This time, however, I decided to flip this lesson using infographics.


As a huge fan of infographics as learning tools, I love using infographic programs such as Piktochart and Visme to develop flipped lessons. Both Piktochart and Visme allow users to embed video content, taking the ability to learn from the infographic to another level.

When considering how to transform my traditional direct instruction on logical fallacies, I wanted to include both text, images, and videos in my explanation of each logical fallacy, this way my students could learn about each term through various mediums.

By creating these infographics, I was able to provide a definition, picture, and commercial or politician's speech to fully demonstrate each logical fallacy. I was also able to include a video with a question at the bottom of the infographic, which, after embedding into my LMS (Canvas), I was able to use as a formative assessment to check for understanding.

The benefits to flipping this lesson was two-fold. Firstly, I avoided students' learning from being disrupted by restroom breaks, distractions, or absences. Students were able to use their devices in class to read, look, and watch about each logical fallacy while taking notes on this document.

Secondly, students were able to learn at their own pace. They could rewatch the video examples I provided and were not limited to the pace I set with my old lesson where I had typically used a PowerPoint.

In addition, this lesson took a lot less time than my traditional lesson. I was more concise in what needed to be said. Therefore, we had more time in class to actually analyze print ads, commercials and political speeches, which is what was most important anyway.

Furthermore, because I chose to use Piktochart instead of, say, screencasting this lesson using my former PowerPoint lesson, I will be able to update the examples for each logical fallacy each year so that the examples remain current, something I find vital to teaching these concepts to freshmen.


Having saved class time teaching, my students are able to spend more time analyzing and evaluating these logical fallacies. Some of the activities I do or plan to do are:

  • Ethos gallery walk - Students walk around the room, viewing various pictures from the media and identify, analyze and evaluate the use of ethos.

  • Print ad analysis - Find print ads for various demographics (Teenage girls, Men 30-40, moms, senior citizens, etc.). Hang them in groups around the room. Have students complete a gallery walk where they analyze each group of ads for target audience and common persuasion tactics as well as what statement advertisers are making about each targeted demographic.

  • Commercial analysis - I regularly update my YouTube commercial playlist. I have the students analyze some of these commercials as a class, some in small groups, and some individually.

  • Magazine cover analysis - Have students analyze male and female-targeted magazine covers to evaluate what the media is saying about men and women.

  • USA Today's Today's Debate Section - This is a go-to resource of mine for students to find current editorials that provide both sides of the argument. They can see logos, ethos, and pathos (plus some logical fallacies) being used in real-time.

  • Speech analysis - Students select a political speech from American Rhetoric and analyze it for persuasion tactics.

  • Create an ad - Student create their own ad targeted at a specific demographic using persuasion tactics commonly used to persuade their specific audience.

  • Write an editorial - Students write their own op ed about a current topic in which they are passionate.

Overall, I think flipping various parts of my lessons on persuasion has helped my students better learn these concepts. They are able to rewatch lessons and spend more time doing the actual work of learning - analysis, evaluation and creation.

Lapsang Souchong

(AKA Tasted like i burnt my tea on a fire)

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© 2019 Kristina Ulmer/Tea with Teacher

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