November 25, 2013

Persuasive Writing Unit-Photo Overload

We've been working on a persuasive unit at school for the last two weeks.  We started it right after Veterans Day.  I revamped some of the projects I've done in the past, and added some new Thanksgiving related persuasive writing activities. The timing was perfect. I think the unit was a total success! I was really happy with my students' writing, and I think they enjoyed the activities that they completed. 

This unit addressed the following Common Core State Standards:
  • 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.5.1a 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.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1b Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1c Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequentlyspecifically).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1d Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

I used the persuasive writing bulletin board materials (from my Persuasive Writing Unit set) to create a display for students to refer to during the unit.  I put some great TFK persuasive articles on the board to accompany the set.

My old bulletin board arrangement

My new bulletin board arrangement...

The first step in our unit involved students identifying the important parts of a persuasive essay.  We color coded the parts.  We also underlined the transitional words and phrases that were used. I emphasized the importance of transitional words and phrases and how they helped the essays flow. The first example we did together for practice, and then students did the next example with a partner.

We went over the answers on the Smart Board, and students recorded them in their packets (the passages were also from my TpT unit).

Next, we practiced writing a persuasive essay together.  We wrote about school uniforms.  And, yes, my students chose to write against them....Shocker!

Then, my students chose one of two articles to write a persuasive piece about: "Should Kids Be on Reality TV?" or "Should Trampolines be Banned?" After they read the article they selected, they had to choose a side and convince their readers to agree with it.

They completed their pre-writing using this graphic organizer (also in my set).

After the pre-writing, my students wrote a draft in their notebooks.  They double checked their work by coloring the different parts of their essays to ensure they included each part.  They also had a classmate peer edit their writing using a checklist from my set.

The last phase of their writing process was typing their final copy!

And Voila! Students pasted their final copies on either red or purple paper (depending on if they were for or against the topic being discussed).

The next phase in the unit was applying their new persuasive writing skills to a Thanksgiving related prompt...I chose the book Turkey Trouble because it went well with the prompt I chose.  I had students write a persuasive piece convincing their readers that they were not a turkey. In the book, Turkey Trouble, the turkey tries to disguise himself as other types of animals to avoid being the main course on Thanksgiving. It's a cute story.  Unfortunately, I was not the only one who wanted to use this book, and all of the copies were checked out of the library.  I think I was number 40 on the hold list...haha...So, I found a video of it being read on YouTube (see below).

Image from:

I told my students in advance that they would hear some baby noises toward the end of the video.  They thought it was hilarious. :)

Click on the image below to go to Katie Adams' TpT store.  That is where I found the template for the turkey figure. 

Click here for a copy of the graphic organizer I made for the assignment.  

Isn't the display cute?  I wish I had room to display them all! They came up with some really creative ideas for disguising their turkeys. Plus, it was a fun way to practice their newly acquired skills.

Here's a closer view!


  1. I've read "Turkey Trouble" a few times now, so I'm glad to have this fantastic graphic organizer to go with it - thanks for sharing!

    Love to Learn

    1. It's such a cute story! I'm glad you will be able to use the graphic organizer with your students. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. This is great! I am so glad I found your blog! I am a middle school LA teacher and currently teach special ed. This is perfect for me - thanks!

    1. I'm glad you found it too! I hope your students enjoy the activities! :)