Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Persuasive Writing

This year I have been trying out writing workshop. I don't think I'm super successful at it yet but I am working on it. My kids are a lot more independent and creative with their writing than they have been in years past. But I still need to work on the instruction part of my writing especially the revising and proofreading part. The past few weeks we've been working on persuasive writing. This is a common core standard or at least opinion writing is. I started the unit off with showing the kids a few public service announcements from youtube.
I showed this Smokey the Bear one from 2009.

Then a Give a Hoot Don't Pollute one.
And finally an army one. The first time we watched these videos it was not successful. The kids didn't get what was going on at all. But we talked about them and what they were trying to convince you to do. I then went back home that night and searched for some more videos to help explain what I was meaning. I found a few old commercials for Barbie dream house and micromachines. I also showed a wildlife preservation one with the Muppets and a marine one. They did a lot better with them this time. I think they were finally getting that commercials were trying to persuade them of something. Then we brainstormed a list of things that they would like to convince me to do. They came up with some crazy ideas which was good. I talked to them about being realistic and specific in what they were wanting me to do. Here's our list:

We also discussed how they were going to make an argument. They thought that all arguments were bad so we did a little role playing to show what I meant by wanting them to make a argument. The next step was making a graphic organizer. They picked one thing they wanted to try to convince me to do and then tell me four reasons about why they should.

Then they wrote a letter to me. Not all the students are finished and the ones that are done with writing need to revise and proof. This is my down fall but I'm trying to follow through with this project. Here are a few of their examples:

This last one is my favorite. She wants more math homework. So far it is going well. I think our next step will be to work on writing about some school problems and writing letters to our principal and assistant principal. I told them those that wrote compelling arguments I would do those activites. So we'll see which ones I end up doing. We also finished up a little writing from Valentine's day. I gotten a great freebie from A cupcake for the Teacher. It was Love is . . . My kids responses were so cute.
 This one says, "Love is love. Love is kind. Love is nice."
 This one says "Love is a strong feeling about someone or something."

This was one of my favorites. It said"Love is making other feel better when they are sad." This was a cute activity and even though we didn't have time on Valentine's Day I'm glad I made the time to do it today. What are you working on in writing? How do you teach persuasive writing?


  1. Thanks for posting! I am SO frustrated with writing. I needed to see what someone else is doing in their class. :)

  2. We love Writer's Workshop in my room, but I definitely need better mini-lessons. Most of the time it is just shared writing. Your littles writing is super impressive though! You're definitely doing something right! :)

  3. Loved reading about your kids' writing! The Love Is... were so sweet!
    Conversations in Literacy