Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students.

Students will read a persuasive text arguing that Jacinda Ardern is showing exceptional leadership skills. They will be guided to understand the content of the article through questions about both the text and one of the key videos. Then, students will analyse the use of pathos, logos and ethos in the article itself. Finally, students will apply what they have learnt about good leadership and about persuasive writing to write about a leader they admire. They will have the option to share this writing with the leader themselves.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Compare the ways that language and images are used to create character, and to influence emotions and opinions in different types of texts (ACELT1621)
  • Analyse and explain the ways text structures and language features shape meaning and vary according to audience and purpose (ACELY1721)

Year 8 English

  • Analyse and evaluate the ways that text structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to a text (ACELY1732)
  • Investigate how visual and multimodal texts allude to or draw on other texts or images to enhance and layer meaning (ACELA1548)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of Covid-19. Many leaders, of countries, companies and other organisations, have been forced to use all of their leadership skills to guide people through the changes to their lives.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Student Worksheet

The Persuasive Power Of Leaders - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • Identify evidence for arguments stated in the text
  • Identify and analyse the effect of ethos, pathos and logos in the text
  • Evaluate which persuasive appeals you find most effective
  • Apply those techniques to your own persuasive writing.

Success criteria:

  • You can understand the key arguments stated in the text and independently link them to evidence
  • You can find examples of ethos, pathos and logos and explain your choices
  • You can reflect upon the techniques that have the most impact upon you and explain your reasoning
  • You can apply skills learnt from a text to your own writing.


Three reasons why Jacinda Ardern's coronavirus response has been a masterclass in crisis leadership

Suze Wilson, Massey University

Imagine, if you can, what it’s like to make decisions on which the lives of tens of thousands of other people depend. If you get things wrong, o

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