Hello darlings! We are currently working on Persuasive writing. In third grade, our kiddos are expected to write an introduction with a thesis statement, 3 detailed reason paragraphs, and a conclusion.
When we start off, I always model an entire Persuasive piece and we work together as a class. This year my kiddos wanted to persuade the principal to allow us to have two recesses a day instead of just one.
When I start to get kiddos to write on their own, we start off simply by learning how to write one paragraph with a strong opinion backed up with solid details. To do this, we play a game using our whiteboards. If you don’t have a whiteboard for each of your kiddos you are truly, truly missing out on so much good learning and instant assessment!!
I have each kiddo grab their whiteboard and sit on top of their desks. The novelty of being on top of their desk adds to the excitement. Next, I have them write one paragraph telling their favorite season of the year and explaining why with specific details.
Once they finish, they place their board on the carpet and we each pick someone else’s board to take and read. Before students read the board, we discuss what makes that paragraph a 3, 2, or 1. I use my Learning Scales Freebie to talk about the expectations.
I assign different spots around the room for them to stand if they think the paragraph they wrote was a 3, 2, or 1. For example, if they think the paragraph is a 3, they go stand by the door. If they think it is a 2, they go stand on the rug, etc. Once there, they talk with a few people to explain their reasoning.
Because there are no names on the boards, I am able to ask a few students to share the paragraph they grabbed and we talk about the quality of the opinion and reasons given.
Students put the boards back on the carpet so the owners can go grab them and then, we erase and start over, trying to add descriptive and detailed reasons to our opinion.
Instead of saying…
My favorite season is fall. It is a really fun season. I like it because it has Halloween and I can dress up. I can carve pumpkins. Fall is my favorite season.
We add details such as…
My favorite season is fall. I love fall the most because there are so many things to do. I love to rake the falling leaves and jump in them. I also enjoy carving pumpkins and drinking apple cider. Another reason I love fall is because I can dress up on Halloween and go trick or treating. Fall is definitely an exciting and busy season!
Once students have a chance to rewrite their opinion paragraphs, we repeat the whole process over again. This time, they use a lot more details and they take pride in their work because they realize their peers are going to be “grading” them. We might repeat this process a few more times until most kiddos are standing at the 3 spot in the room.
I love this activity because the kiddos are writing up a storm but they don’t even realize it because they are up moving around and are so active. They also love it because they get to be the teacher and decide if their peers wrote a quality paragraph.
This activity can be used for so many different subjects!
Our final project for Persuasive Writing is so much fun!
During writing time, we read ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving. It’s a cute little book that is modeled after ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas but takes a group of students to the farm of Farmer Mack Nuggett. They meet a group of turkey who are going to be cooked for Thanksgiving and they end up sneaking the turkeys onto the school bus and taking them home to save them.