PLEASE tell me I am not alone?
For those of you on your last week before break, let me know how sleeping in next week feels. Shoot, watch an extra episode of Ellen, raise your glasses and do an extra happy dance for me (and save this in your files for next year!!), because we are in school until the 21st. Can I get a WHOMP WHOMP...
So, carry on we must! This is PART 1 of our Christmas Persuasive Writing Project: "The Mini-Lesson, Brainstorming and Writing!"
Part 2 will be the reveal of: "The Publishing Work".
As you can see, we are knee deep in the trenches, but not without a holiday twist to keep my little merry children on their toes and engaged! We have been working on our persuasive unit and are finishing it up by the end of this week. You can read more HERE about the start of our persuasive unit, and how I pre-assessed my kids to see where they're at with all things persuasive.
In the last post, I briefly mentioned how I incorporated some of the persuasive techniques like logos and rebuttal. This time around, we incorporated all 6 of the strategies included in my Christmas Persuasive Writing Pack.
We started slow by just talking about each of the techniques.
First, we got together as a class and went over the anchor charts (that are included in the pack). It was a pretty quick mini-lesson to get their brains thinking about these concepts. I then gave them the homework of looking for more examples in the media of these techniques so that they could come back the next day and we could discuss them more with a better understanding of the techniques being used.
Oh my goodness they went to TOWN with this! Being that my kids are obsessed with athletes and celebrities, AND that commercials are saturated with athletes and celebrities, they had an easy time with it.
To help supplement my teaching, and to keep us from straying off course too much, I created this quick little PDF presentation of pictures and teaching prompts. The pictures you see below are part of the PDF presentation, and you can grab them in a PDF format to help supplement your teaching by clicking HERE or the pictures below.
The next day we started with the first slide of the presentation. We got the anchor charts back out and took notes on the techniques in our writing workshop notebooks. We broke them down into "kid language" definitions (or our own Level 4 understandings), and I had the students brainstorm examples of each of the techniques on their own, before we got together to share.
The discussions were pretty awesome, and students were giving me examples that I hadn't even thought of. Of course I came prepared with this PDF presentation of ideas (just in-case) but my ideas were not as great as some of the things I heard them talking about (not to mention, the commercials and the celebrities/athletes they were talking about made me feel VERY old!)
Once I felt that the students had a pretty good understanding of each of the concepts, (about a day or two), I then passed out the highly anticipated prompts! During our Thanksgiving writing, I limited the number of prompts to keep it simple for students, but this time I gave them the choice.
The prompts can be printed in a fun, festive color or in black and white strips. I printed a set of prompts for each table so that they could take the chance to read the prompts and pick a Christmas topic to test out their persuasion skills.
This student is persuading Santa to get a moustache and used "Movember" for his bandwagon technique, with the use of a web. Do you love it!? I LOVE when their personalities come out in their writing!!
If you're wondering what "tugging at the heart strings" represents, when speaking about pathos, I used the "kid language" understanding of "tugging at the heart strings" to help my students understand the concept better.
So, you can see all of the different ways my students brainstormed their ideas to "get the ball rolling".
Next, I had them share their ideas with a partner, and the partner teams worked together to pick out each student's top 3 examples in their "rough brainstorming".
Students were told that the 3 they chose, would be the 3 they used in their final writing pieces. Many of them wanted to do more than 3, and I left it up to them to decide. We talked about the fact that a good argument is loaded with strategies, but that if you overload your audience, you may not do a good job of persuading them at all.
Once students decided on their 3 best ideas using the persuasive techniques, I then had the students write their 3 ideas/reasons on the "Persuasive Planning Sheet" found in the pack. I walked around the room peeking over shoulders to make sure students and partners had picked 3 strong reasons that they could use to support their topic.
Then, in true Writing Workshop form, I gave the students an opportunity to share.
**Side note: this is where the beauty of a document camera in the classroom comes in. When students can see each other's work on display as an "example" vs. the teacher's example when modeling a lesson, profound things happen in their 5th grade brains. They "get it" and are WAY more interested in what their peers are writing. (I tell you it's like magic).
I projected this students example for everyone to see and a few laughs were had:
Thank you for giving us all a visual of Taylor Lautner's washboard abs my dear, sweet student. It was greatly appreciated (hehe, I kid!)
Next we jumped right into writing topic sentences, transitions and all those amazing supporting details that make up a fabulous paragraph!
Stay tuned for PART 2 to see the SUPER ADORABLE published pieces!