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Persuasive Writing


11th, 12th


English Language Arts


100 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Hawai'i


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Rhetorical Appeals: Tourism's Carbon Footprint

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Dec 4, 2023
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In this lesson, students use tourism ads to learn about rhetorical appeals and explore how tourism contributes to a larger carbon footprint.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students discuss perspective and persuasion using images of Hawai‘i.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students analyze rhetorical appeals through oil company advertisements and activist artwork on the carbon footprint of travel.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students design a postcard from the future that uses rhetorical appeals to sway audiences about how climate change will impact Hawai‘i if tourism remains the same.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai’i’s Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • This lesson gives students a voice and empowers students to have a say in how tourism affects their lives.
  • This lesson gives students a method for convincing others of the impact of climate change in a powerful way.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know that fossil fuels cause climate change. If they need to review the topic, they can watch the video What Are Fossil Fuels?

  • Teacher should preview the advertisements and articles, as well as the Teacher Answer Key, before the lesson.


  • This lesson can be paired with a rhetorical analysis lesson, like the lesson Logical Fallacies in Reef-Safe Sunscreen.

  • The lesson can be extended to become an entire language arts or science unit on carbon footprints. Students can calculate their carbon footprint using the Nature Conservancy Footprint Calculator.
  • If time permits, students can write a first draft of their postcards and complete peer reviews before creating their finished product.
  • Students can read the articles for homework and then discuss them the following day in class.
Scientist Notes

Tourism and climate change are directly related, and this lesson teaches students to spot rhetorical assertions in articles or other written content. They can then use these techniques to craft persuasive arguments about how air travel contributes to climate change and how to reduce Hawaii's tourism industry's carbon footprint while still protecting the environment. After carefully fact-checking all the instructional materials, this lesson has passed our science review process.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.
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