Kids are usually pretty good at being persuasive, especially with their parents and teachers! But, putting those ideas into writing doesn’t always go as planned. This week’s Mentor Monday topic is about persuasive writing. It is a great unit to teach near the end of the year because students can get REALLY into it which helps keep them engaged.
One of the books I like to use (especially when I teach this unit at the END of the year) is “A Fine, Fine School” by Sharon Creech. If you haven’t read it before, the gist of the story is this. A principal is so proud of his teachers, students, and school that he thinks they should learn even more than they already know. First, he adds school on Saturdays, then on Sundays, then on holidays, and then all summer long (can you hear the moans and groans already…from YOU and the kids!?!). One of the students finally talks to the principal and says that there are some people who are not learning. The shocked principal asks, “Who is not learning!?” The student explains that her dog isn’t learning new tricks, her brother isn’t learning to swing himself, and she isn’t learning to climb a tree, all because she is always at school. After thinking about it, the principal decides that school should go back to the way it was before.
So, what reasons can YOUR students think of to persuade your principal NOT to follow the same ideas as the principal in the story? Since it is almost the summer, I can assure you that most of them will NOT want to give up their summer to continue learning in school! This FREE unit includes graphic organizers as well as handwriting paper. The first page includes the writing prompt or situation, as well as an example of how to use the sunshine graphic organizer. The next page has a small version of the graphic organizer sample and three larger, blank organizers. The last page is an optional organizer you can use to help kids prepare for some of the arguments the principal may use FOR summer school. I have found that by having kids prepare for what the other side’s arguments may be, they are better prepared to argue against it!
So, what do you do to teach persuasive writing? Make sure to check out the linky from The Reading Tutor/OG to see some other GREAT resources!
Until next time,