As I teach my students to write persuasive paragraphs and essays, I find that success depends on two things: good classroom charts and examples and a variety of graphic organizers. I created this handbook with that idea that my students will keep it in their binders all year for future reference. It includes: several pages of tips and instructions for teachers to use as they teach the persuasive paragraph and then move on to the persuasive essay, ideas for charts to create and hang as you teach the persuasive paragraph and essay, several graphic organizers for both the persuasive paragraph and the persuasive essay, rubrics, persuasive paragraph/essay topics, and several quick reference pages for students to keep in their notebooks.
As you teach the persuasive paragraph and the persuasive essay, the best way to begin is with en explosive, controversial topic. I start with chocolate milk.
Before I send my students off to write a persuasive paragraph, I write one with them as a class. I taught this unit for years before I found the perfect starter topic. A topic that children could bond over from one school to another…a topic that was as important to adults as it is to children…a topic in which everyone, across the globe and various age ranges has equal stake. The question of…”Should chocolate milk be served in school cafeterias?” I have used this example in professional development sessions far and wide. While there are seemingly much weightier topics to discuss in a persuasive essay, the moment you ask the question, “Should chocolate milk be served in school cafeterias” and EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION.
In all seriousness, this is also a great topic, because while everyone will have an opinion, it is not such a volatile topic that it will generate complains from parents (well…the pro-sugar substitute, non-dairy parents may still complain, but you can’t please everyone. After all..you’re not a bottle of chocolate milk).
Please feel free to message me with questions!
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