The Art of Persuasion…

A timely skill as we head into the holidays.

St Columba Primary School staff have shared with our students a powerful arsenal as they prepare for the holidays—the art of persuasion. Over the past four weeks, students from Kindergarten through to Year 6 have been learning about the power of ethos (building trustworthiness), logos (logical argument with strong reasons) and pathos (emotional appeal) as they learn to address all three elements in their writing for maximum influence and persuasion.

With an aim to develop our students as global citizens, we set a challenging topic that resonated with our end of term NAIDOC week celebrations: The World Needs Diversity. Many rich and robust discussions happened in classrooms across the school as students grappled with the realms of diversity and its impacts on a local, national and global scale. For our younger grades, the challenge was to present their point of view by presenting strong and well-supported reasons that included emotional appeal through sharing personal stories and experiences. Many of our older students took the opportunity to write an argument, skilfully orchestrating their reasons for and against diversity in a way that was subtle and controlled to allow the reader to feel a sense of autonomy in forming their own opinions, completely unaware of the mind manipulation our writers achieved through powerful word choices and deliberate ordering of ideas. Parents, be warned, those Santa letters, Christmas requests and holiday destination appeals may be far more prepared and convincing than you are ready for.

Through this writing process, our aim was for our students to build a stronger sense of character, as we asked them to take a proactive stance towards life by learning to deep learn. The greatest time was given to the planning and drafting phases, as students learnt the value and importance of giving and receiving feedback that is targeted and purposeful. For some students, this process was tough, especially if they perceived any suggestions for improvement as criticism. They had to overcome these perspectives and begin to see the benefits of taking time to listen and heed the advice and perspectives of others. Our writing was done in chunks, with time also allocated for students to respond to feedback, editing their work for greater impact before moving on. While at the start, this process was deemed to be tedious, the sense of pride and accomplishment felt when the realisation that our final, refined, published work is something we want to share and celebrate has allowed most students to value this process.

As with all writing, we began by defining our audience and purpose. You, as our greater St Columba Community, were our audience and our purpose was to educate and inform you about why our world needs diversity to thrive. Included below are just a few samples of student’s proudly reading a part of their writing, yet every student has writing to share. Please ask your child to read their writing to you and celebrate their unique views and contributions that make our world the wonderful place it is.

Click below to hear students read from their writing:





Year 1




Year 2




Year 3




Year 4




Year 5




Year 6




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