Saturday, January 17, 2015

Persuasive Writing!

Last week we started working on persuasive writing! I started the unit by reading the book I Wanna Iguana... by Karen Kaufman Orloof and then we brainstormed things that my students really really wanted just like in the story. We discussed how they might go about asking their parents for this thing, or animal, or to go to that place.

We decided the persuasive letter to their parents needed to have:
  • flattery (Everyone likes a compliment!)
  • polite tone (using please, etc.)
  • a thoughtful argument for why it's a good idea
I then had them write the letter to their parents inside a speech bubble, cut out the speech bubble, and paste it to a page with their faces. This activity is modeled after a blog post created by Amy Lemons. You can find her downloadable template for the speech bubble here.

I am so impressed with how their writing and art turned out! I've done this writing for a few years now as an introduction to persuasive writing, and these are the best yet. I think it helped that we had a mini art lesson on how to draw faces. We started by discussing the things that all faces have and how your drawing should have the same colors and shapes that your own face has. I also modeled each step by drawing a portrait of myself on the board. We stopped after each step before moving on to the next. I think it really helped them to put effort into their work because I have quite a few students this year who will rush through everything just to get to the next thing.

This is a close up of one of my student's work. She really wanted to go to a hamburger/pizza restaurant we have here in Kigali. She had a really original idea that was specific to Rwanda and this was something I appreciated. Others wrote about wanting a dog, a cat, a ginuea pig, a chameleon, an ipad. Some wrote about places they wanted to go to: Lego Land, a favorite sushi restaurant, and Disney World.

I think this activity was a really great way to start to our persuasive writing unit! Have you found any great ways to teach or introduce persuasive writing?

-- Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment