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persuasive writing middle school
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THE GIVER - Persuasive Writing Task - Travel Brochure
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Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing
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Persuasive writing is an important skill that can seem intimidating to elementary students. This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they already have. A classroom game introduces students to the basic concepts of lobbying for something that is important to them (or that they want) and making persuasive arguments. Students then choose their own persuasive piece to analyze and learn some of the definitions associated with persuasive writing. Once students become aware of the techniques used in oral arguments, they then apply them to independent persuasive writing activities and analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.
From theory to practice.
- Students can discover for themselves how much they already know about constructing persuasive arguments by participating in an exercise that is not intimidating.
- Progressing from spoken to written arguments will help students become better readers of persuasive texts.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
Materials and Technology
- Computers with Internet access
- LCD projector (optional)
- Chart paper or chalkboard
- Sticky notes
- Persuasive Strategy Presentation
- Persuasion Is All Around You
- Persuasive Strategy Definitions
- Check the Strategies
- Check the Strategy
- Observations and Notes
- Persuasive Writing Assessment
- Work in cooperative groups to brainstorm ideas and organize them into a cohesive argument to be presented to the class
- Gain knowledge of the different strategies that are used in effective persuasive writing
- Use a graphic organizer to help them begin organizing their ideas into written form
- Apply what they have learned to write a persuasive piece that expresses their stance and reasoning in a clear, logical sequence
- Develop oral presentation skills by presenting their persuasive writing pieces to the class
- Analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques
Session 1: The Game of Persuasion
Home/School Connection: Distribute Persuasion Is All Around You . Students are to find an example of a persuasive piece from the newspaper, television, radio, magazine, or billboards around town and be ready to report back to class during Session 2. Provide a selection of magazines or newspapers with advertisements for students who may not have materials at home. For English-language learners (ELLs), it may be helpful to show examples of advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines.
Session 2: Analysis of an Argument
Home/School Connection: Ask students to revisit their persuasive piece from Persuasion Is All Around You . This time they will use Check the Strategies to look for the persuasive strategies that the creator of the piece incorporated. Check for understanding with your ELLs and any special needs students. It may be helpful for them to talk through their persuasive piece with you or a peer before taking it home for homework. Arrange a time for any student who may not have the opportunity to complete assignments outside of school to work with you, a volunteer, or another adult at school on the assignment.
Session 3: Persuasive Writing
Session 4: presenting the persuasive writing.
- Endangered Species: Persuasive Writing offers a way to integrate science with persuasive writing. Have students pretend that they are reporters and have to convince people to think the way they do. Have them pick issues related to endangered species, use the Persuasion Map as a prewriting exercise, and write essays trying to convince others of their points of view. In addition, the lesson “Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues” can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise.
- Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Compare your Observations and Notes from Session 4 and Session 1 to see if students understand the persuasive strategies, use any new persuasive strategies, seem to be overusing a strategy, or need more practice refining the use of a strategy. Offer them guidance and practice as needed.
- Collect both homework assignments and the Check the Strategy sheets and assess how well students understand the different elements of persuasive writing and how they are applied.
- Collect students’ Persuasion Maps and use them and your discussions during conferences to see how well students understand how to use the persuasive strategies and are able to plan their essays. You want to look also at how well they are able to make changes from the map to their finished essays.
- Use the Persuasive Writing Assessment to evaluate the essays students wrote during Session 3.
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The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.
This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.
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Why teach persuasive writing?
As children mature as writers, it's important to give them the opportunity to write using a variety of formats. Persuasive writing helps students formulate specific reasons for their opinions, and provides an opportunity to research facts related to their opinions. As students develop an understanding of how writing can influence or change another's thoughts or actions, they can begin to understand the persuasive nature of the marketing they are exposed to through television, the Internet, and other media.
How to teach persuasive writing
- Have students listen to or read examples of persuasive writing. Together, listen and look for words, phrases and techniques that helped the writer persuade the listener.
- Brainstorm something that is important to an individual child or the group. Is it extra recess? Another chapter of the read aloud? The potential closing of a library? The more authentic the issue, the more passionately your students will write.
- Once the important privilege is chosen, have the child (or class) start to list reasons why they should be allowed this privilege. "Just because," and "because I like it" should not be considered valid reasons. Students can work together to generate at least three good reasons to support an argument. This list of persuasive words and phrases from the site Teaching Ideas may help get students started.
- Have students do some research to gather facts or examples that support their reasons.
- Have students summarize their position.
Here's a persuasive letter written by an elementary school student from Crozet, VA:
Watch: Bubble Gum Letters
Create an authentic writing opportunity that motivates students to write persuasive letters to a target audience. See the lesson plan .
This video is published with permission from the Balanced Literacy Diet . See related how-to videos with lesson plans in the Text Structures and Genres section as well as the Writing Processes and Strategies section.
This persuasive writing lesson from ReadWriteThink uses the Beverly Cleary book Emily's Runaway Imagination as the springboard for kids to write letters to a librarian urging the addition of certain titles to the library. A Persuasion Map Planning Sheet guides students through steps similar to what is described above.
This resource shows the lifecycle of writing a persuasive letter to a child's parents about where to vacation for the summer. The PDF begins with the brainstorming, moves through drafting, editing, and publishing of the final letter.
From Writing Fix, here's a speech writing lesson that uses the mentor text Otto Runs for President in conjunction with the RAFT strategy. In this lesson, students assume to the role of a talking fruit or vegetable. Pretending that there's a "Fruit/Vegetable of the Year" election, the students will create a campaign speech that explains why their fruit/veggie is the best candidate for the job.
For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, students with learning disabilities, and younger learners.
- Have students work in small groups to generate their ideas and do the research.
- Offer various suggestions for how students can share their argument: e.g., a debate format, a "soapbox" in the classroom, or letters to the editor of the newspaper.
See the research that supports this strategy
Wollman-Bonilla, J. (2000). Family message journals: Teaching writing through family involvement . Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
Children's books to use with this strategy
Emily's Runaway Imagination
Emily Bartlett lives in an old farmhouse in Pitchfork, Oregon at a time when automobiles are brand-new inventions and libraries are a rare luxury. Can Emily use her lively mind to help bring a library to Pitchfork? ReadWriteThink offers a persuasive writing lesson plan featuring this book.
Otto Runs for President
When Otto runs for school presidency, he must defeat some underhanded techniques used by his opponents. What might convince the students that Otto is the best candidate for the job?
How Oliver Olsen Changed the World
Oliver Olsen learns how to change his own world as the engaging third grader works on a school science project. The telling (third person) is natural and the situations plausible. The story can be retold using transition words to emphasize or identify individuals' favorite (or most memorable) parts.
The Storyteller's Candle
This is the story of librarian Pura Belpré, told through the eyes of two young children who are introduced to the library and its treasures just before Christmas. Lulu Delacre's lovely illustrations evoke New York City at the time of the Great Depression, as well as the close-knit and vibrant Puerto Rican community that was thriving in El Barrio during this time. Bilingual Spanish-English text.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Farmer Brown has his hands full when the cows on his farm get a typewriter. Duck, however, negotiates successfully for all parties in this very funny farm story of very clever animals. Be prepared to talk about typewriters or take a trip to a museum to see one!
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.
I would also the Duck series (Duck for President) and the Pigeon Series (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) as books to use!
Thanks for this, it really helped!
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In this language arts unit, students learn how to “argue on paper” using a fictional case about a school dress code rule against band t-shirts. The lessons take them through the process of writing two persuasive essays: one supporting the rule and one opposing it. After the essays, we suggest having your class play the game Supreme Decision to see how these arguments relate to issues of freedom of speech in schools. Supreme Decision is an excellent fit with the language arts classroom because it requires reading comprehension and higher-order thinking skills in the application of rules and evaluation of arguments.
Lesson 1: So You Think You Can Argue
Lesson 2: I Can't Wear What??
Lesson 3: Lookin' for Evidence
Lesson 4: no rambling allowed, lesson 5: yeah, but..., lesson 6: the dreaded outline, lesson 7: emphasize, minimize, lesson 8: from outline... to essay, see how it all fits together.
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Middle School Persuasive Writing Lessons
Finding engaging and rigorous persuasive writing lessons should not be a challenge to find. Unfortunately, not all writing curriculums and activities draw the attention of our students and encourage their engagement. Consequently, the lessons they learn in these classes are not as solid or memorable as they could be.
From the time we are old enough to talk, persuasion is a skill that we use on a regular basis. As we get older, the stakes become much higher than a simple “let me have an extra cookie after dinner tonight, please”. From the everyday discussions with a partner of where to go on vacation to the much more significant ones like convincing a boss to give you a raise, persuasion is a part of all of our lives and a skill that has a tangible and significant impact.
Making sure our students have a solid foundation in persuasion and persuasive writing will help set them up for success in the future.
Let’s look at three persuasive writing lessons that offer solid instruction while also being particularly engaging to your students.
Persuasive Writing Lessons
Persuasive Pitch Assignment
If your students like the TV show Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den , then they will love this assignment. In it, students develop an idea of how to improve their school (e.g., installing recycling bins, creating a snack program, etc.), and then they pitch their idea to the judges (their classmates).
After watching all the presentations, students will vote on which idea they like best. This assignment is scaffolded into five different lessons. The familiar format, as well as the element of competition, encourages students to do their best and helps drive home the curricular lessons on persuasion. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD .
“My students loved the idea of Dragon’s Den style product pitches to learn persuasive techniques! They had a blast while watching the two show episodes and analyzing the products, as well as creating their own products and pitching them. They created excellent advertisements and came up with great ideas!”
Persuasive Writing – Michael vs. LeBron
Oftentimes the problem with persuasive writing assignments is that students don’t really care (or care much) about the topic about which they are writing. This is not the case with this lesson. In it, students practise gathering evidence from a podcast (an oral text) and use that evidence to support their writing.
After listening to the evidence presented by the podcast, students must decide who is the greatest basketball player of all time – LeBron James or Michael Jordan. By grabbing your students’ attention with a topic they are interested in and one that may be rather unexpected in the language arts classroom, you help students be excited and want to learn more about effective persuasive writing. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD .
“Loved this persuasive writing unit so much! I have quite a few basketball fans in the class and so it was quite the hit. Thanks!”
Rant Writing Unit
Rant writing is an engaging way to bring public speaking and persuasive writing into the classroom. Students rant and complain to each other daily – why not channel that creative energy into some high-quality writing? By utilizing things that students are already engaged with and encouraging students to share their thoughts and opinions, this unit is an effective way to teach persuasive writing.
Whether you choose to use these lessons or something else, the importance of a solid foundation in persuasion cannot be overstated. Helping students remember the lessons they learn in your class going forward and throughout their lives sets them up for future success.
You can grab this Rant Writing Unit for free here .
“My communications class absolutely loved this activity and even asked at the end to do it again!! It was very engaging.”
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This FREE persuasive writing unit is
- Perfect for engaging students in public speaking and persuasive writing
- Time and energy saving
- Ideal for in-person or online learning
By using highly-engaging rants, your students won’t even realize you’ve channeled their daily rants and complaints into high-quality, writing!
Welcome to the Persuasive Writing Unit! Common Core Standards: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. ... Introduce claim(s) about a topic or
Sixth graders will learn how to navigate the opinion writing genre with this awesome Common Core lesson plan.
Editable persuasive essay writing unit includes complete plans and scaffolded students handouts for English Language Arts grades 5 - 8.
Developing Persuasive Writing. Grades. 3 - 5. Lesson Plan Type ... This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they
How to teach persuasive writing · Have students listen to or read examples of persuasive writing. · Brainstorm something that is important to an individual child
Students are expected to write persuasive essays for appropriate audiences that establish a position and use supporting details. (11A) plan a
Learning Objectives · Identify the elements of persuasive writing · Organize thoughts and ideas for prewriting · Outline a persuasive essay · Compose a persuasive
In this language arts unit, students learn how to “argue on paper” using a fictional case about a school dress code rule against band t-shirts.
Persuasive writing lesson plans and worksheets from thousands of ... W.7.1 Persuasive Writing: 7th Grade ELA Common Core ... For Teachers 4th - 6th.
After watching all the presentations, students will vote on which idea they like best. This assignment is scaffolded into five different lessons