Activity Introduction

Quick summary: We have a complex relationship with our mobile phones that is more than screen deep. Mobile phone use and the impact it has had upon society is a contemporary social issue with far-reaching effects on our community’s safety, health and wellbeing. In this lesson, students will become familiar with Logos – a rhetorical device used to persuade, and complete the ‘Think-Pair-Share’ visible thinking routine to explore their understanding. They will watch two clips from the It’s People Like Us – Perspectives YouTube series and identify examples of when Logos is used to persuade the audience. They will then apply their understanding by writing a letter to a person using appeals to logic to persuade them to change the way they use their mobile phone. 


It’s People Like Us is a documentary film created as part of the Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) Towards Zero road safety strategy. It explores society’s relationship with mobile phones – especially the use of them while driving – and the responsibility that we all have to keep ourselves and each other safe on the roads.


Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the rhetorical device Logos and how it works to persuade an audience.
  • Students understand the impacts of mobile phones on their own lives.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English

  • Analyse how point of view is generated in visual texts by means of choices, for example gaze, angle and social distance (ACELA1764)

Year 8 English

  • Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive texts, including media texts, vary according to the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543)

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students explain issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints. They listen for and explain different perspectives in texts.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students understand how the selection of text structures is influenced by the selection of language mode and how this varies for different purposes and audiences. Students explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to represent different ideas and issues in texts.

General capabilities: Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy. 

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of work: It’s People Like Us – English.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers will be required to facilitate active listening and responding in class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – (printed) one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Web-enabled devices (one per student). Rhetorical Devices factsheet, The Impact of Distractions on Safe Driving factsheet, Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland: Mobile Phone Use & Distraction factsheet.

Related Professional Development: Teach Persuasive Language Using Documentaries 

Keywords: logos, logic, It’s People Like Us, documentary, community safety, persuasion, point of view, social issues.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the rhetorical device Logos and how it works to persuade an audience.
  • Students understand the impacts of mobile phones on their own lives.

Success criteria: 

  • Students identify logic in a text
  • Students use logic to persuade in a written text

Teacher content information: By the end of today, most of us will have checked our phones over 150 times: on the toilet, in the car or at the dinner table. But, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves - is there a time and a place? Is our mobile phone use affecting our health and wellbeing?

It’s People Like Us is a 22 minute documentary that follows five real Australians who, just like us, have found themselves drawn into their screens, sometimes at the expense of common sense and self preservation.

The documentary forms part of the TACs ‘Towards Zero’ vision for a future free of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The vision acknowledges that as humans, we make

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Mobile phones are not just phones anymore.

1. Complete the ‘Think-Pair-Share’ visible thinking routine in response to the question:

“Why would we use logic to persuade?”

Think to yourself and write down your thoughts below.

Pair with another student and discuss your thoughts. Write down any extra points you discussed below.

Share what you discussed with your class, and write down some of the main points below.


2. Watch The Fog. It features David Strayer (Cognition and Neural Science, University of Utah). David leads research and studies a broad range of studies that range from assessing the limits of human multitasking abilities while performing complex tasks such as driving, to studying how attentional capacities can be restored by interacting with nature.

Listen out for when David appeals to the audience’s sense of logic and fill in the table below with examples

It's People Like Us | The Fog (

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