Can your students persuade the principal to cancel school for a snow day? This differentiated winter writing prompt inspires third, fourth, and fifth grade students to create effective persuasive pieces. Specially designed student sheets help them organize, choose specific words, elaborate, vary sentences, and employ transitional terms. Watch as their opinion paragraphs move from rudimentary to remarkable!
Created by master teacher Brenda Kovich
, this activity is classroom tested and kid approved.
(Click on Preview above to take a peek at all of these materials!)
Teacher Resources (19 pages)
• A Note to the Teacher
• Lesson Plans (2 pages)
• Writing a Persuasive Paragraph poster/anchor chart
• Opener – suggested picture book, prompt, and photos
• Scaffolding and Differentiation (3 pages of guidance)
• Modeling Sheets (7 pages)
• Rubrics (one for each level – basic, emerging, and detailed)
Student Resources (21 pages - available as printable or paperless Google files)
• My Opinion – guidance in determining opinion, writing a topic sentence, and writing a call to action
• My Reasons – brainstorming
• My Organizer – basic and detailed versions
• My Hook – making a simple request, asking a question, setting the stage, using onomatopoeia, and other
• My Wrap-Up – matching the beginning by restating the request, answering the question, exiting the stage, using onomatopoeia, and other
• Winter WOW Words – themed foldable thesaurus
• Elaborating with Examples – considering examples for each reason
• Elaborating with Details – bolstering sentences with active verbs, sensory details, specific nouns, and descriptive words
• Elaborating with Lists – packing sentences with lists of actions
• Varying Sentence Beginnings – replacing first word with synonym, adding a describing word, telling how/when/where, comparing with a simile, beginning with an –ing word
• Varying Sentence Types – experimenting with questions, commands, and exclamations
• Editing Checklists (one for each level – basic, emerging, and detailed)
• Winter-Themed Stationery – boy or girl in snow gear for draft and final piece
Session 1: Opening, Generating Opinion & Reasons – The teacher reviews structures and strategies for writing a persuasive paragraph. All students listen to the opener, generate topic sentences and calls to action, and brainstorm reasons.
Session 2: Organizing – The teacher models hooks and wrap-ups. All students organize their opinions, reasons, and calls to action. Level 2 students also work on hooks. Level 3 students work on a cohesive plan with related hooks and wrap-ups for an overarching slant, or theme.
Session 3: Drafting - The teacher explains how to move ideas from the organizer to paragraph form. He/she models the format of a letter. All students write their first drafts, focusing on organization, word choice, and mechanics.
Session 4: Elaborating - The teacher models processes for elaboration. Level 1 students add one or more examples. Level 2 students add details and examples to their reasons. Level 3 students add details, examples, and lists to bolster sentences.
Session 5: Revising - The teacher models processes for varying sentence beginnings. The class explores how transitions may be used to link ideas. Level 1 students adjust sentence beginnings so each begins differently. Level 2 and 3 students work on varying sentence beginnings and types, as well as using transition terms.
Session 6: Editing and Publishing - Students use leveled checklists to edit and publish their paragraphs.
Are you looking for more materials to help your students write persuasive paragraphs? Try my circus-themed video, anchor charts, modeling and student sheets
Other Persuasive Writing Activities:
• February Persuasive Paragraph - Groundhog Day Writing Activity
• March Persuasive Paragraph - St. Patrick's Day Writing Activity
• April Persuasive Paragraph - National Book Month Writing Activity
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I’m committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated on December 30, 2017.
Clip art was created by Cara Taylor