We had a reading story called "It's Probably Good Dinoaurs are Extinct." The story concludes with a kid asking mom if he can keep a dinosaur as a pet. I had my kids write a letter to their parents asking to keep their favorite dinosaur as a pet. They had to give three reasons (three detail sentences) why their type of dinosaur would make a wonderful pet. We spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas, and the kids had a lot of fun with it.
We are just finishing reading Charlotte's Web and may write a letter to Mr. Zuckerman trying to convince him to spare Wilbur's life. I have also read the book Hey Little Ant! aloud. It's about a boy who is about to step on an ant. The kids then write about whether or not the boy should step on him. We also read Oliver Button is a Sissy and write whether or not he should stop dancing. Judith Viorsts' book Earrings is another good one. It's about a girl who wants to get her ears pierced. She presents a multitude of reasons. Your kids could write a persuasive piece about whether or not her parents should let her pierce her ears.
Check out this website for great ideas to teach persuasive writing. I teach in this district and think they have really good reading, writing and math resources.
Thank you for posting those websites. I always struggle with the mini lesson part of writer's workshop!
Question though: I am curious to how people do the mini-wkshop. Do you pull small groups who are ready for that skill? I have many kids who are ready for higher level skills, but have several who we are working on just writing a complete sentence.
We have had fun in the past writing persuasive letters to the principal trying to convince him to have Pajama Day. (We got it! ) This year we wrote asking him to be in our our Grant Wood Second Grade Gothic! (He did it! ) The letters are really good if the topic relates to the children. I’m trying to thing of a new challenge. Hummmmmmmmm?
We wrote letters to our heroes asking them to come visit our school. Each stdent decided what person they wanted to write and extend an invitation to visit our school. The kids had fun picking and several even got replies.