At this point in the year, students have spent several months strengthening their writing skills in narrative and nonfiction genres. They are now primed to work in the third genre of writing: Persuasive!
This unit places new demands on the writer. Illustrations will no longer have a huge emphasis. Instead, students will be asked to write with more volume and sophistication. During the first part of the unit, students are expected to introduce the topic they are writing about, supply reasons for their opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
The first part of the unit began with students thinking about making judgments and considering reasons for their judgments. After judging collections and after ranking, comparing and declaring their best object, students are now moving on to writing REVIEWS! They can transfer and apply their new found knowledge of how to judge to rating restaurants, hotels, books, movies, parks, cities, etc…
In the last part of the unit, students will be supported in transferring and applying all of the work they have done with persuasion to other forms of persuasive writing which exist in the world. Students will listen to stories that model persuasive writing and together think about the qualities of good persuasive pieces. Students will begin to construct their own persuasive texts, which will involve them in transferring and applying not only skills gained in persuasive writing, but also skills gained in earlier units in narrative and informational writing.
In addition, opinion writing lays the foundation for learning to write arguments, so this unit puts students on a pathway toward academic and professional success.