Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Persuasive Writing

For many students, our unit on persuasive writing is a favorite. It doesn't require the same fluency that a longer report or story require.  The writing is shorter and focused.  One of my brightest students who really resists writing, just told me that Writing is now his favorite subject in school!  I regularly have students that ask to stay in at recess because they want to write and really get upset when we miss Writers' Workshop!  I think this unit is so popular because the students are writing for a real audience.  We do mail their letters and they often receive a response - especially from their parents and family.

After writing persuasive letters, students are given the option to type their letters into the class blog. One of the benefits of this activity is that when we edit, we only correct spellings of words that are on our word wall.  Other, lengthier words, are written the way that they sound and we let those words stand.  We don't correct those spellings because the children aren't yet held responsible for those spellings.  However, when the students go to type their letters on the computer, spell check automatically underlines the words that are misspelled and some of the children want to correct them to the "right" spelling.  This only improves their writing! 
Read, enjoy (and comment on!) some of their letters below.

There is always at least one letter every year that just seems to break my heart and this is the letter for this year...

Dear Dad,
Can you come back, Dad?  Can you please?  Dad, I haven't seen you since Spring Break.  I love you and miss you.  I miss you so much and that's why I've written this letter.
Your lonely son

Don't know if Dad is persuaded by this heartfelt plea, but it certainly is a strong persuasive letter!

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