Will Wonders Never Cease? The Perfect Pair

article by Mina , photo by Wiki Commons

Note: This lesson works best when following the learning resource for Puppy for Sale!


Learning Intention:

I am learning to rehearse and receive feedback on a persuasive speech with subjective language so that I can use appropriate tone, pace, pitch and volume for the audience.


Success Criteria:

  • I can use subjective language to persuade my audience.
  • I can receive and give feedback on oral presentations based on tone, pace, pitch and volume.
  • I can modify my tone, pace, pitch and volume according to feedback.


Essential knowledge:

For more information about the conventions of persuasion, see The School Magazine’s video on Argument.

For more information about the roles of the composer and the responder, see The School Magazine’s video on Authority.


Oral language and communication:

As a class, read through Puppy for Sale! on page 9 from this issue of Blast Off or listen to the audio recording if you have a digital subscription. Ensure they understand that the poem is written as a sales pitch. Ask students to find language in the poem that is an opinion (subjective) and language that is a fact (objective). Remind students that facts can be checked, whereas opinions will vary based on someone’s point of view.


Sample answers:

Subjective language – strangest I’ve seen; one of a kind; The perfect companion; you’ll love him.

Objective language – why is he green? He’s long, and so scaly; he’s registered, groomed and his nails have been clipped; he’s also been chipped


Understanding text:

Explain that students will be writing their own sales pitch to be presented orally to the class on the following topic. Tell students that they should be confident and creative, bending the truth with subjective language to suit their sales pitch, so they should pay careful attention to the details of the product, as well as the subjective language used in the article itself.


As a class, read through The Perfect Pair or listen to the audio recording if you have a digital subscription. Ask students to discuss the following questions:

- What is the product?

- How will people benefit from the product?

- What is some subjective language used in the text? (marvellous moustache, beloved beards, colourful designs, tea-tastic invention)

- How can they sell the product to the people who’ll benefit from it?


- How can they sell the product to people who won’t benefit from it? (Ensure students understand that selling products to people who don’t necessarily need it is much the point of marketing)


Creating text:

Tell students to imagine the moustache mug inventors have hired them as a salesperson for their product. As a salesperson, students will have to pretend to be standing in the street, attracting potential customers with confident speech and sparkling words. As with the Puppy for Sale! lesson plan, show them the video ‘With a Flair’ (from Bed knobs and Broomsticks) if you have access it. Encourage students to be creative with their pitch – for example, they could do a song, rap, poem or acrobatics trick as they’re pitching. Give students time to write out a draft of their presentation. Remind them to use subjective language, such as: “They’re the most beautiful mugs in the world!” and “Your lipstick will remain unsmudged throughout every business meeting!”


Once they’ve drafted their pitch, students get into small groups of three or four. Assign each student in the group the letter A, B, C or D. Students will then leave their group and rehearse with all others in the class that have the same letter as them. So, all A students will get together, all B students will get together somewhere else, and so on. Explain that these secondary groups are to give feedback on tone, pace, pitch and volume for each member’s rehearsal. Provide questions such as the following on a feedback form:

  1. Tone

Did the salesperson sound cheerful, confident, genuine? What could they do to improve?

  1. Pace

Did the salesperson talk fast enough to catch people on the street, but not so fast you couldn’t understand them? What could they do to improve?

  1. Pitch

Did the salesperson speak too high or too low? What could they do to improve?

  1. Volume

Did the salesperson speak at a loud enough volume to be heard on a busy street? What could they do to improve?

  1. Overall

Do you think the salesperson has done enough to attract potential customers? What could they do to improve?


Once everyone in the secondary group has presented and received their feedback, students return to their original small groups and present as if pitching on the street.


Assessment for/as learning:

Original groups can fill out a feedback form:

Tone                /5

Pace                /5

Pitch                /5

Volume           /5

Overall            /5

Other comments:


Additionally, a marking rubric for persuasive texts can be found on The School Magazine website. Students can use this rubric to inform their writing, and it can be used for peer and teacher assessment.