Wednesday Workshop: Persuasive Letter Writing

My fifth graders are avid persuaders.
They have opinions about everything!
And they are often more than willing to share said opinion :)

Today I'm linking up with Jivey for her "Wednesday Workshop"

This week's theme is persuasive writing

Earlier in the year, we read these two great books:

and did a fun persuasive writing unit. 
You can read all about it HERE.

Today, however, we took a different spin on persuasive writing. 
We read the book Earrings by Judith Viorst
The story is about a young girl who wants pierced ears so badly.
She tries several tactics to persuade her mom
to let her have them.

We discussed the narrator's arguments and
the support she provided for each one.

Then I told the kiddos that it was their turn! 
The prompt: write me a letter to persuade me of...
anything you want :)

First we talked about the proper outline format for persuasive writing:
1. Argument #1
a. Support
2. Argument #2
a. Support
3. Argument #3
a. Support

We brainstormed a list of possible persuasive topics:
1. No homework for the day
2. Sit by anyone you want for the day
3. Mrs. Lawler should bring in cupcakes for the class
4. Mrs. Lawler should take the class to Six Flags
5. Mrs. Lawler should move to 6th grade with us
(so not happening!)

I chose one to model:
Mrs. Lawler should bring in cupcakes

And we worked as a class to craft a persuasive essay:
1. Argument #1
The class has worked hard this year
a. Support
They've completed 5 book reports, 7 essays,
and 32 spelling tests

2. Argument #2
Mrs. Lawler owes us
a. Support
For an April Fools joke, Mrs. Lawler promised us brownies -
but she only brought in brown "E"s

3. Argument #3
We need to celebrate summer birthdays
a. Support
We haven't had the chance to celebrate summer birthdays, so we should throw a party and Mrs. Lawler can bring in cupcakes to let them know that they are special
Because the students worked diligently, were tricked by Mrs. Lawler on April Fools Day, and still need to celebrate birthdays in July and August, Mrs. Lawler should bring in cupcakes for the class to enjoy!

Then I let my kids loose to woo me with their persuasive writing.
They could choose any topic, but had to follow our outline format. To help them visualize their outline, I gave each student three index cards
Index Card #1: Argument #1 & Support
Index Card #2: Argument #2 & Support
Index Card #3: Argument #3 & Supports

Once their index cards were filled out, they had a partner check that their arguments and supporting reasons. Then they went to work writing their letters:

We also touch on dishonest persuasion and how prevalent that is, especially in the media.
I've created a vocabulary flip book that you can download for 

Well I'm off to plan my Tricks of the Trade post for tomorrow:
How do you store your posters/bulletin board materials?
Link up tomorrow to share your Tricks of the Trade! :)
15 days left to go for this chica! WOOHOO!


  1. I love Earring but it is no longer in our library - so I need to get my own copy soon. I love your freebie - perfect for our media literacy strand!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. I totally forgot about the book Earrings! I need to add that to my list next year!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. I love the index card idea, being able to separate your arguments and move them around before you write. Thanks!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  4. Great ideas. I like giving kids note helps them ensure they have 3 different arguments and supporting reasons. Also, thanks for sharing the book Earrings. I'm like Bethany...gotta go put it on my list for next year!

    Teacher at the Wheel

  5. I love love love Earrings! Thanks for linking up such fabulous resources! :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  6. I love the use of index cards-I use them for expository writing! It's just another way for them to organize their thoughts, but different from paper! Thanks for the freebie!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. This looks great. Ditto what Kaitlyn said. I have heard of the book Earrings, but haven't actually checked it out much. I will have to do that.

    Compassionate Teacher

  8. I love all of these books! I forgot about Dear Mrs. LaRue!! This is what happens when you are a bookaholic and you have almost 1,000 books! You forget some! Thank goodness for Pinterest! Love the freebie! Just what I needed!!!!

    Thanks friend!
    Collaboration Cuties


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