Although not openly persuasive texts, the texts that we will be looking at over the next few weeks, will incorporate examples of characters using persuasion to change their world or the reader's perception of it.
- How did you feel when you finished reading the book?
Why do you think the book is called ‘Fox’ and not ‘Dog’ or ‘Magpie’?
- Which characters do you like best? Why?
Have you had any experiences like those in the story?
- Do you know anyone who is like someone in the story?
Are there any characters, events or settings which remind you of parts of television programs or films you have seen? How are they similar?
- Do you think the characters deserve what happens to them?
If you were telling this story, what would you change?
- Why do you think the author wanted the story to end as it does?
What do you think is the most important message of the story?
This book demonstrates some obvious persuasive arguments, with Dog's early words of kindness and encouragement to the bird persuading Magpie that life can be lived with a handicap, provided one is prepared to try. This is in contrast with the fox's wickedness in playing on Magpie's regret for her former life, later seducing the bird away from the dog
How important is eye contact when you are trying to persuade someone to believe you or do what you want them to do? Look at examples in the illustrations where the characters are looking at each other. When they really want to coerce the other character to do what they want they are close to each other and they are in eye contact. Does that help to build trust?
Magpie, felt that Fox's eyes were always watching her. What effect did that have on her relationship with Fox? Who had the power in the relationship?
- Discuss the motives for both persuasive arguments;
- Students come up with a verbal apology supposedly from Magpie to Dog explaining her reasons for betraying him. The apology would also need to contain a plea which should include some very sound reasons to persuade the dog to take her back as a friend once more.
How will the bird persuade her old find to trust her again?
Would the magpie remind the dog about his optimism and kindness which originally helped their friendship to develop?
What would you do if you were in the position of any one of the characters?