This free persuasive writing unit of study is designed to fit into your 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade writing workshop.
Download this persuasive writing unit of study to help you plan an engaging and effective unit in your classroom.
This unit contains anchor charts, graphic organizers and lessons to help you create the perfect unit for your students.
This is another free resource for teachers and homeschool families from The Curriculum Corner.
This persuasive writing unit of study is just what you need to make your planning easier.
Within this newly updated unit, you will find both colorful and black and white anchor charts. This will help you conserve color ink if needed.
The unit contains anchor charts, graphic organizers & more. All resources are provided in a single PDF download.
What is persuasive writing?
Persuasive writing can be an important part of the primary writing curriculum. It encourages students to use their opinions and knowledge to influence others.
Persuasive writing can be thought of as extension of opinion writing. It differs in that the author’s opinion is followed by reasons for the opinion along with an attempt to persuade the reader.
This unit on teaching children to write persuasive pieces was designed with second grade in mind. However, you will find many mini-lessons that can be used for other grade levels.
This unit was written with the help of Cathy’s student teachers (Joel Larrison, Kellie Wood and Amanda Rush.)
A writing workshop typically begins with a 10 to 15 minutes mini-lesson.
Some of the ideas for lessons below could run beyond the 15 minutes. Because of this, you might choose to spread some of the lessons over multiple days.
You will want to reinforce some of your mini-lessons with reviews or follow-ups as needed. The types of writing being done by students will often times require more than one day to complete.
Persuasive Writing Mini-Lessons
- The first two days of this unit are designed to expose children to different types of persuasive writing. It is important to have a good stack of mentor texts so children can explore the unique features of this type of writing. This stack is different than other mentor stacks you might have created for other units because not all of your texts will be books. You can add book & movie reviews and other types of persuasive writing that fit.
- We start many of our units by having our students “notice” various things about certain types of texts.
- In this case give small groups of two or three students two mentor texts.
- Then provide post-it notes and ask them to “notice” features of the writing by recording their observations on the post-its. You may also choose to use our Group Noticings graphic organizer.
- After students have time to explore, gather them together and share their observations. Discuss the texts and their similarities.
- You can use the blank chart so that you can create your own anchor chart with your students. You will find an already completed anchor chart to help you start.
What is Persuasion?
- Read aloud the book I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff.
- After reading, discuss the term “persuade” and what it means. Talk about how the main character in the story is trying to persuade another character in some way.
- Use the Persuasive Text Story Map to show what is happening in the book. After completing the story map, discuss the Persuasive Writing Anchor Chart.
Choosing Persuasive Language
- Younger students often need help choosing the correct persuasive language.
- A lesson where you create an anchor chart with powerful word choices for this type of writing can be helpful. We have an anchor chart with some possibilities you can introduce. Your students might also think of new words to add to it.
Supporting Our Opinions
- Students may not know how to effectively support their opinions without practice. A perfect read aloud for this is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Big Book Edition) (Pigeon Series). It is a simple text with clear supporting details.
- Read the book aloud and then complete the Persuasive Text Story Map (same as from lesson 2) as a class.
- Next, give the students a chance to create their own supporting details for a persuasive piece. Together, choose a topic of high interest. Perhaps it could be “Why the class should have a longer recess” or “Why teachers should give less homework”.
- Fill out the Persuasive Planner with the class to help guide children in creating strong supporting details for the opinion topic.
- Doing this will also give the students a model for planning when they begin to create their own opinion pieces.
Writing a Persuasive Paragraph
- Model how to write a persuasive paragraph using the Persuasive Planner the class created in lesson 4.
- You can show and discuss the Opinion Sentence Starters anchor chart and use it to help you begin your writing in front of the class.
- Be sure to “think aloud” as you write in front of the class. This will help them understand how you are using your planner and making writing choices as you go.
- Next, show the students the list of 16 persuasive writing topics provided. You can have each choose their own topic from the list of ideas (or think of a new one).
- Pass out Persuasive Writing Planners to everyone. Students can begin by writing their opinion topic at the top, and thinking of three supporting details to add below. Once students have completed their planner, they can begin to write their own persuasive paragraph. This is where the previous modeling comes in handy! You will find a lined page in the download for students to use. Some students might need more guidance so be sure to conference with students during independent writing.
Introduction to Persuasive Letters
- For this lesson it is best to read aloud a book that has persuasive letters within the story itself.
- Some suggestions are Dear Mrs. La Rue: Letters From Obedience School or Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.
- Discuss with students what the animals want in the book and the supporting arguments they give.
- As a class, pick a topic that students could use to write a letter. They might write to the principal, cafe manager or other important adult in the building.
- Write a class letter trying to persuade the adult of the class’ opinion. (A letter writing template has been provided if you wish to use it.)
- For example, students might try to argue that they should be allowed to watch a movie because of their hard work and good behavior. Another idea is persuading the cafe that they should serve a new favorite food.
- As the class participates in this guided writing activity, be sure to point out punctuation that letters should have.
Writing a Persuasive Letter
- Begin this lesson by gathering students to reread and discuss the letter that was written in lesson 6.
- Once again, emphasize the importance of supporting their opinions with details. Also remember to review punctuation.
- Next begin brainstorming topics and audiences to whom they might write a persuasive letter.
- As students are thinking, briefly meet with each one to discuss what topic and audience they choose to write for. They should be working to complete the Persuasive Writing Planner.
- As they finish their planners, have students meet with peers to talk about their supporting opinions before they begin to write their actual letters.
- We have provided a simple letter template if you would like for your students to use one.
Introduction to Commercials & Ads
- Your students will probably love this lesson! Start by sharing some of your favorite commercials with your class from your computer screen, SmartBoard, or tablets.
- After each commercial, discuss what was being advertised, as well as one fact and one opinion from each commercial.
- Discuss the purpose of commercials and ads – to persuade people to purchase a product or service. Emphasize that commercials and ads are most definitely a form of persuasive writing in our every day life.
- We have created a recording page, Finding Facts & Opinions in Commercials” to accompany this lesson. Students can record their ideas as they work if you would like.
Planning a Class Commercial & Ad
- For this lesson you will need to bring in a product that you think the students will enjoy creating a commercial and advertisement for. (The crazier the product the more fun the class will have!)
- Show your students the product and discuss its characteristics and strengths.
- Together fill out the Commercial Advertisement Planning pages to fit the specifics of the product you brought in.
- We have provided two types of planners for each one so that you can choose which works best.
- These will serve as the model for students to plan their own commercials or advertisements in the next lesson.
Writing Individual Commercials or Ads
- Using the planning pages from lesson 9, model for or explain to the students how you would like them to write their own commercials or design their advertisements.
- Refer back to the Words for Persuasive Writing anchor chart to remind students of persuasive language they will can use in their writing. Also be sure to include specifics about opinions and facts within the advertisements that you want them to include.
- Then, have students choose one form of persuasive writing they would like to do – a commercial or an advertisement. You might even decide to have them work with partners.
- Have students brainstorm products (or give them an extra day to bring something in) and fill out their respective planners.
- We have created pages where students can draft a commercial script and/or design an ad. After a few days of writing and working, have students act out their commercials or create a hallway display of the advertisements they create.
- Discuss the persuasive nature of the ads and point out the facts and opinions contained in each.
Introduction to Writing a Book Review
- Another form of persuasive writing is a book review. Students will attempt to persuade their peers to read a particular book they have enjoyed.
- First spend some time reading book reviews as a class. You will find some great examples (mentor texts) of book reviews here: Spaghetti Book Reviews.
- Read some aloud with the entire class and also provide some time for students to read a few with partners. Gather students to discuss the purpose of a book review – persuading others to read or not to read a particular book.
- Spend time discussing the importance of providing strong opinions and reasons so that the piece will truly persuade the reader.
Writing a Class Book Review
- Use a book that you have already read aloud to the class to model for students how to fill out the Book Review Planner.
- Once the class has completed the planner together, model how you would like for them to format their actual book reviews.
- There are many formats that book reviews can take – written reports, brochures, posters…even the commercials and ads your students learned in the previous lessons.
- You make the decision on the format for the book reviews based on the standards you are teaching. If you choose a writing-only format, we have several different styles of papers to choose from at the end of the download.
- Again, be sure to “think aloud” as you are writing so students know what to include and why it is important. This also allows you to model good grammar, punctuation and other rules (book titles, indenting, etc).
Writing Individual Book Reviews
- Students now have the tools and knowledge to write their own book reviews.
- After choosing and reading a book they would like to write a review on, have students fill out Book Review Planners.
- You may want to choose one format for all of the students to use to write their reviews. Or you can show several options (models) and let students use their own creativity to write the book review.
We always suggest some type of writing celebration at the ends of writing units of study. The celebration for the persuasive writing unit can simply be a gathering of people for students to share their writing with. Or, you could have students present their commercials, ads and book reviews. The intent is to make students feel proud of their learning and the writing process.
You can download this free unit of study here:
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