Who Wants to be a Billionaire?

play by Philippa Werry , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning Intention: 

I can plan, draft, edit and publish a persuasive advertisement so that I can extend my understanding and use of persuasive techniques. 

Success Criteria: 

  • I can confidently explain the term persuasive device and define the following examples: alliteration, capitalisation, rhetorical question, jargon. 
  • I can locate persuasive devices in a text and explain why they have been used. 
  • I can experiment with the use of these techniques by designing an advertisement.  
  • I can create a multimodal presentation using text and images to create an eye catching and persuasive advertisement based on the invention in the text.  

Essential knowledge: 

  • More information about presenting arguments in a logical manner to enhance persuasion can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Argument 

As a class, read the play. After reading, provide students with the Collins Dictionary’s definition of the word persuade: if you persuade someone to do something, you cause them to do it by giving them good reasons for doing it.  

Then ask the following questions:  

  1. Who is doing the persuading in this play? (The inventor) 
  1. Who are they trying to persuade? (Funnery Funsome)  
  1. What kinds of things do they say to try to persuade them? (Answers may include exaggeration by calling the invention ‘The Next Big Thing’, using impressive made up terms like ‘thousandulator’.) 

Explain to students that you need to use techniques as well as reasons to persuade someone. Provide students with the definitions of the following persuasive techniques and their effect. Then ask students to go on a ‘technique scavenger hunt’ to find examples in the text (answers are included below).  

  • Alliteration: the repetition of an initial consonant sound to make something memorable or catchy. For example: the ‘Fearsome Fun Company’. 
  • Capitalisation: to deliberately give common nouns capital letters for emphasis or to exaggerate their effect. For example: calling the invention ‘The Next Big Thing’. 
  • Rhetorical question: a question asked to create a dramatic effect or to make a point, rather than to give an answer. For example: ‘You’ve heard of hundreds and thousands?’ 
  • Jargon: words and expressions that are used in a technical way by a particular group of people which often makes them difficult to understand but impressive sounding. For example: ‘thousandulator, millionator, trillionisation’.  

If you have a digital subscription, you can listen to an audio recording of the play. Students could complete the technique scavenger hunt as a listening task as the four examples of techniques are signposted through pause, tone and intonation.  

Instruct students that they will create a print advertisement for one of the inventions in the play. The advertisement should contain the following five features:  

  1. A headline that hooks the reader.  
  1. An eye-catching image. 
  1. The ‘copy’ – a short paragraph that makes a sales pitch.  
  1. A ‘call-to-action’ that tells the reader how to buy the product.  
  1. The company logo. 

They should also use at least two of the techniques listed above, that also feature in the text of the play.  

You may wish to show them sample print advertisements for toys prior to commencing the activity. A range can be found by typing “print advertisement” + “toy” into Google images.    

Students should plan and draft their initial ideas on paper and seek feedback from their peers. They can then use publishing software such as Apple Pages, Google Slides or Canva to create a multimodal advertisement.