Thursday, March 19, 2015

Persuasive Writing in 3rd Grade

Students in Mrs. Goldstein’s class were challenged with a (fictitious) situation to stimulate a conversation, and writing piece, to voice their opinion.  “Which Specialist class should NOT be cut from the curriculum?”  Boy, did these children have the answers!  We all have opinions, but usually they don’t have any real research or evidence behind them.  But not in Mrs. Goldstein’s class.  They worked hard on their research to find factual information to back up their opinion.

A lot of preparation went in to this writing process.  The teacher used several mentor texts to teach the writing traits – voice, focus, organization, writing with details, idioms, and conjunctions.

Students decided on the Specialist that they were going to “save” and formed groups for each one.  They brainstormed together to create a persuasive chart.

Persuasive Charts for each Specialist: Library, Art, Music, Gym, and Computers.

Research began to find factual details for their opinion.  Mrs. Goldstein and Miss Fawson found some great websites that included facts that would support keeping our Specialists in the curriculum.  Students investigated the websites and found great facts to support their opinion.

Students gathered three facts off of the websites to support their opinion. The teachers also had hard copies of each website just in case students wanted to use them. 

They recorded their work on a graphic organizer and then wrote a letter to the principal to support their Specialist.

 I used the app “Green Screen” by Do Ink to create a video for the traits of writing –  Factual Information, Explicit Topic Sentence, and Voice.  Check out the video below.

Check out our Twitter tweet for “Voice”.  We were re-tweeted by Green Screen by Do Ink for using their app.  We were also chosen as a ‘favorite’ for a couple of people. 


Massachusetts and Common Core Standards for ELA
W.3.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.  Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
W.3.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

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