“Mom, I know I can take care of a dog because I am responsible and hardworking. Please get me one!” This is a sentence that many parents will hear. If it is not about a dog, it may be about a cat, fish, the latest hoverboard, or a new outfit. Regardless of what it is, children spend a lot of time trying to persuade their parents to buy them something or let them do something. Hence, persuasion is one of the many forms of writing that students need to learn. Thankfully, it is one they can almost always connect with due to the experience of actually trying to persuade someone. The Persuasive Writing Graphic Organizer and Prompts resource has everything needed in order to strengthen persuasive skills through written form. Once you get past the sentences fragments, punctuation marks, and other grammatical errors persuasive writing is fun to teach! This is where your students’ personalities become obvious.
What is Persuasive Writing?
Persuasive writing is essentially the written form of a verbal debate. The purpose is to convince or persuade readers that the writer’s opinion is correct. Thus, persuasive writing provides students the freedom to take a position and support it with details they find important. For example, this may be anything from a hot dog is better than a hamburger or solar energy is better than geothermal energy. The topics are endless! One thing remains constant: building strong arguments. Thankfully, many students love to express an opinion and try to persuade others to feel the way they do. However, students do need guidance on how to create a strong argument with valid, accurate reasons.
Since students have so many writing styles to learn, it is important to think about how persuasive writing is different from other forms. With narrative essays, students are writing from a specific point of view. The key focus is often on imagery and strong, descriptive details. Additionally, writers can be really creative with their stories. However, persuasive essays are more about convincing readers to think a certain way. Here, the student is taking a stand and arguing in favor of it with accurate evidence. Additionally, the student considers the opposing view in order to show both sides have been considered.
In order to incorporate persuasive writing without additional stress or worries, here are some great tips to think about.
- Evaluate Persuasive Arguments: Before beginning the writing process, it will be helpful to have students break down previous arguments. This can be done by reading a paragraph or any sample writing. Additionally, it can even be done by watching commercials to buy a certain product. After reading or watching, have students identify the argument and then a few reasons the author used to support his/her point. However, be sure to address whether or not these points were valid, accurate, and supported the side being argued. By doing this, students will see the importance of developing strong reasoning.
- Brainstorm Persuasive Topics: Before the actual writing starts, it will be helpful for students to brainstorm different viewpoints. These can be anything from why extra recess is needed to ways to help reduce climate change. After establishing some prompts, have students take a side. They can then work with others who support their side to identify different reasonings to use that would support the argument. After this, bring the class back together to share the different points back and forth. Hence, this is also a great way to show students how there are truly two sides to every argument!
- Topic Selection: It may be hard to set aside a lot of time for prewriting, but it will be well worth it! Often, the best writing assignments occur after lengthy prewriting. To begin, allow students a list of options to write about. Or, have the class develop a few common options. Students will write more passionately when they truly believe in the situation.
- Solid Reasoning: Before writing, it will be vital to establish solid reasoning behind each topic. For example, “because I said so,” “because I think so,” and “that’s just how I feel” are not solid reasonings. Students have to work on developing solid reasons to support an argument.
When you are ready to begin teaching your students about persuasive writing, this resource is no-prep with everything ready to go! Here are persuasive writing prompt worksheets for the 3rd-6th grade! In total, there are 24 writing prompts. To help, each prompt includes a prewriting brainstorming map for students to identify their position or opinion. Additionally, it will guide students to develop evidence or examples. Furthermore, there are also questions to help students think about the opposing viewpoint. Thus, students will gain experience in knowing there are two sides to every debate. Thankfully, this resource now includes a digital distance learning option in Google Slides!
Persuasive writing is such an important skill for students to learn. It takes time and practice since it is vital to develop strong reasons to really persuade others. However, with the tips and the resource above, your students will be ready to develop some of the best well-supported arguments!
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