Time To Complete
Do a mini-lesson on how writers can change their writing based on their audience with a focus on demographics, dispositions, and knowledge
Give students case studies (for example, how would a doctor trying to prevent the spread of a disease write differently to a group of school-aged children than to fellow doctors?). Have students work in groups to identify how audience can affect the content and presentation of an informative essay
Have students do an analysis of their most likely audience including a demographic, disposition, and knowledge analysis (see resource below). Note: language and terms can be modified to “characteristics”, “attitude or beliefs”, and “knowledge” for younger grades. Have students write a paragraph describing how they can write based on who their audience may be.
Divide students into groups of 3-4. Assign a topic. Give each group a card with a specific audience. For example, if the topic were “Minority groups are underrepresented in higher education”, one group could write for the audience of minority high school students, another for minority or white parents, and another for presidents and leaders of institutions of higher education. For best results, use butcher paper. When students have completed their writing, ask each group to read it to the class. If they used butcher paper, have them tape the essay to the wall. Have students guess the audience, noting key components. Note differences in writing on the board.
For practice have students prove a thesis on a selected topic in letters to two different audiences, addressing their own purpose and considering the needs of the audience in each letter. Students can work with peer groups.