I just finished a lesson with my 5th grade resource students where we had to write persuasive letters. First, they had to write a letter to me persuading me NOT to give them homework for the long weekend off.
Ihad them create webs where the main goal was in the middle (to persuade teacher not to give HW). Then off of that they were to put three boxes. These were three main reasons why they should not have homework. Ex: Want to spend more time with family.
Then off of the boxes, they were to try to put one or two circles which gave more details about their reasons. Ex: from the above reason: family barbecue on Saturday or Sister's birthday party, etc.
Using this information, they wrote letters to me. Other topics might be:
write a letter persuading your parent(s) to let you adopt a pet or to spend time over the vacation doing a special activity. One boy wrote a letter asking his parents to take the family on a campout and they actually are going.
Just some ideas. Hope this helps a bit.
The best way I have found to teach persuasive writing is using the 6+1 Traits organizer. It really supports the students in building an effective persuasive piece. Not only do they have to give reasons and examples, but also anticipate a counter-arguement and provide a conclusive statement. Having taught grades 3, 4 or 5 for the last couple of years, I have found a huge improvement using this organizer for support compared with others I have tried. Hope this gives you another perspective
I start out by asking the kids if they think our cafeteria should have a McDonalds. The students then choose sides of yes or no. Of course I am on the no side. Then they go back and forth trying to persuade the other side to "think like they do". It's really fun and then the kids can write about it. There is also a couple of books Earrings by Judith Viorst and Mom, can I have a stegasuarus please, that illustrate good arguments and not begging! Have fun.
Good Day, Peggy. I found your strategy very interesting. Can you expound on the 6+1 Traits Organizer. I would love to use that in my class. I also like the idea that the students anticipate a counter-arguement and provide a conclusive statement.
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