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Lesson Plan

Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth

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Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jacqueline Podolski

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






Copies of Aviís Nothing But the Truth

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Persuasion Map

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.


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  • Students should have read the novel Nothing But the Truth.

  • Decide when students will write their response to the first writing prompt. In this lesson, students write the response after reading the book; however, the prompt can be used as an anticipatory activity, before reading the novel.

  • Make copies or an overhead of the Position Statements handout and the Nothing But the Truth Presentation Rubric.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Expression Rights of Students cases regarding free speech in public schools.

  • Check the First Amendment Websites to ensure that all are appropriate for us in your class. If desired, make an overhead or copies of the links so that students can continue their research outside of class.

  • Decide how much time to allot for each groupís presentation. If groups keep their presentations in the 5-7 minute time limit, all the presentations can be given in one day.

  • Decide when to give presentations, ideally a week after their work with the Persuasion Map. Ideally, build at least one additional work day into the schedule to provide enough time for students to plan and practice their work. Work time in class is especially important to ensure that students can assemble easily without having to arrange for special meetings outside of school hours. You may also make arrangements for students to work in your classroom or the library is they before school starts, during lunch, and after school.

  • Test the Persuasion Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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