Individuals are continually hearing persuasive communications through ads, literature, and peers in conversation. Understanding how to take a stand , defend it, and persuade others to share your opinion or take action is a valuable skill . Preparing students with tools for successfully navigating this type of writing will have a long lasting effect, and will provide useful tools for other types of writing. In particular, the ability to research and find facts to support their opinion and expository writing is necessary. Applying critical thinking and analysis skills when reading editorial, persuasive, and opinion pieces can also be achieved through studying the format of successful persuasive essays.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Call students to the carpet/front of the room to sit together. Ask students to silently think of something they would really like, but that their parents have refused to let them get/do. Call on a few volunteers to share school appropriate items, examples such as going on a fancy vacation, staying up later, getting a new pet might be some that you hear. Say, “It sounds like you want to persuade your parents to do/get these things. What does persuade mean?” Call on volunteers to help you create a definition. If unable to create one, supply the information. To persuade someone is to convince them to agree with your point of view or request, to change their opinion, or to believe information you’re providing.
- Say, “There are many different ways which you can persuade your families to get that dog or take that vacation, etc. More importantly, it is useful to know how to convince and persuade people to understand your opinion on important topics. You might tell your parents that you’ll do extra chores around the house if they let you stay up late, but that will not work in all situations. As an adult and in the higher grades, it will be important to learn how to use your writing skills to convince others to see your point of view. This is called persuasive writing.
- Say, “Let’s listen to this example passage and then see what the author did to help persuade the audience to share her point of view.” After reading, use the board to identify what the author did, and then brainstorm with students what they think they will need to do to persuade people with their writing. Students should identify that the author clearly took a stance, stated reasons for the stance, provided facts and evidence to support her stance, and organized the passage clearly. It may be less obvious that the author identified the audience (people who are in charge of allowing children to have pets- guardians/parents, and children themselves). Make sure this point is made clear before moving onto the anchor chart.
- Create an anchor chart with the students about what to include in a persuasive essay.
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion,and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose
Class Sessions (45 minutes): 3-4
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