Five Reasons to Go With the Glow

article by Zoë Disher

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify persuasive techniques in texts so that I can develop my skills in creating visual and written persuasive texts.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify persuasive techniques used by an author.
  • I can identify an author’s use of reason and evidence to support their argument.
  • I can create a visual persuasive text using information from a non-fiction article.


Essential knowledge:

Use the Australian Curriculum Glossary to ensure students are aware of the meaning of rhetorical questions before reading this text.


Read the introduction to the article, then pause to discuss the persuasive techniques used. The School Magazine’s assessment and evaluation rubric for persuasive texts may be used to assist this process. Ask students to identify ways the author has indicated the intention to persuade the audience. Answers may include:

  • The title suggests the audience is going to be given reasons to choose something that glows (ensure students understand that the author is presenting bioluminescence as though it is a product for the purposes of the article)
  • The three rhetorical questions at the opening of the article are intended to make readers think in a certain way about bioluminescence.
  • There is an explanation of bioluminescence so that the audience understands the topic, along with examples of how and where it is used.
  • A further rhetorical question is used to prompt the audience to consider whether bioluminescence would be a good fit for them.
  • The introduction finishes by encouraging the reader to read further to find out the reasons being presented.


After reading the article, discuss the fact that the author has not only provided reasons to choose bioluminescence, but also explanations and evidence. Using this information, ask students to recall reasons that bioluminescence is useful for different creatures and make a list on the board. Answers should include:

  • Male and female fireflies use patterns of flashing to find each other
  • Some female fireflies pretend to be a different kind of firefly and flash a pattern to attract males, then eat them
  • Anglerfish use their glow to interest smaller fish, then eat them when they get close
  • A type of small algae glows when being attacked by copepods to alert other fish, so they can come and eat the copepods
  • Many fish and squid use bioluminescence to make themselves invisible to predators from below during the daytime by visually matching the sunlight hitting the water
  • Some types of fungi glow to attract insects, who then take spores and spread them so the fungi grows in a new location
  • Some animals use bioluminescence to startle their prey
  • Some animals glow to warn predators that they are toxic to eat
  • Some animals use light to see what’s around them when it’s dark.

Inform students that they are to choose one of these reasons and create persuasive posters to convince an audience of the benefits of bioluminescence. Explain that they should present their reason using visual means such as an illustration or diagram that demonstrates the benefit they have chosen. They should also include a small number of words to communicate the benefits in an attention-grabbing way.

For example, they may create a drawing of the ocean with a layer of algae on their poster, then draw some copepods approaching and use colour to show the algae glowing in that area. They may add words to the poster such as ‘The bioluminescent burglar alarm alerts fish to come and save it from the hungry copepods!’


Assessment for/as learning:


Using The School Magazine Persuasive Text Assessment Rubric, ask children to peer review another student’s persuasive text against the criteria provided in the assessment rubric. Ask students to provide explicit feedback using the criteria identified in the rubric to encourage their partner to develop their persuasive writing.

This feedback should be recalled when children compose their next persuasive writing piece, to ensure children are continually improving their writing.