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Writing Unit Amelia Lamsam

Grade: 5th Purpose: Persuasive Essays

Student will be able to write an essay to persuade readers that his or her opinion on a controversial issue is the right one. The student presents one side of the issue and supports his or her opinion with arguments backed up by statistics, examples, and expert opinions.

Common Core Standards :

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

  • a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

  • b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

  • c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).

  • d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

CCL goals:

Page 107 Informational: Writing in the Genre Include argument and persuasion where appropriate.

Reveal the writer’s convictions about the topic through the writer’s unique voice.

Write an engaging lead and first section that orient the reader and provide an introduction to the topic.

Page 108 Essay: Writing in the Genre Provide a series of clear arguments or reasons to support the argument. Use opinions supported by facts. Write a logical, thoughtful ending.

Page 109 Functional: Writing in the Genre Restate claim with further evidence. State a point of view and provide evidence. State the point of view of another individual.

Mentor texts:

1 Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M Hoose This book is a back and fourth discussion between and ant and a boy. I think it would be great to help students conceptualize a counter argument and think of how to effectively respond.

2 My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Steven L. Layne This book is of a boy who hears all kinds of strange noises at night. He comes up with arguments to convince all of the monsters that his brother would be the better one to eat. I think this book would be good to help students to understand that they need multiple persuasive arguments.

3 The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry This book is about a tree that grows in the Amazon Forest. Two men come to chop it down. They fall asleep and then the animals who live in the tree try to convince him not to chop it down. This book deals a great deal with pathos or emotional arguments. I believe this would help students to understand the emotional appeals that can be made in a persuasive essay.

Day 1:

Topic: What is a Persuasive Essay? How do you start?

Persuasive Essay A persuasive essay attempts to persuade readers that a writer’s opinion on a controversial issue is the right one. The writer presents one side of the issue and supports his or her opinion with arguments backed up by evidence.

Introductory Paragraph

Begin with an “attention grabber” – a technique used to grab the reader’s attention

(Quotation, Definition, Fact). Transition to the main topic.

The introduction will have a thesis statement, an affirmative sentence that expresses the

writer’s opinion about the subject of the essay.

Overview of points of the essay.

Resources:

My hand out My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Steven L. Layne

Teacher actions:

Read Aloud:

  • - Before reading, draw a chart on the board or some paper with three columns. Title

them “Things Joey Says”, “Motives”, and “Intentions”. Then tell the class to pay close

attention to the things Joey says in this book, What is happening in the story to make him say those things (Motives)?, and Why he says those things (Intentions)?.

  • - Read the book: My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Steven L. Layne

  • - Ask students to share. Discussion:

  • - Discuss how motives and intentions influence a person’s opinion.

  • - Highlight that persuasive essays are to convince.

  • - Distribute and discuss handout – It’s All Greek to Me!

  • - Instigate brainstorm for different ideas for a persuasive essay. What are you passionate about?

  • - Help students start their own introductory paragraphs.

GRRM

I do:

I am going to model the writing of an introduction to a persuasive essay.

First I will need to think of a topic. How about: Should we have a dress code at our school? I will need to begin with an “attention grabber.” I am going to write:

Did you know that more people visit facebook than Google these days?

Next we will need to transition to our main topic. Let’s see. I wrote:

Did you know that more people visit facebook than Google these days? It’s true. Now more

than ever a sense of individuality is valued in our society.

My next step will be to develop my thesis. This sentence needs to express my opinion on dress codes in schools.

I believe that dress codes restrict a person’s expression freedom to express individuality amongst his or her peers.

Did you see how I crossed out expression? It is okay to do that. Good writers monitor word choice while they are writing. Lastly, I will need to develop an over view statement. This will give the reader a road map of where I am going. I’m going to read over what I have so far.

Did you know that more people visit facebook than Google these days? It’s true. Now more

than ever a sense of individuality is valued in our society. I believe that dress codes restrict a person’s expression freedom to express individuality amongst his or her peers. In this essay, I will cover several more important reasons why dress codes should not be

implemented in schools, such as legal issues, social issues, and developmental issues.

I have left room for revision, however, this brief introduction gives you a sense of where I

am going with my essay. Now, let’s try it together!

We do:

Now we are going to write an introduction together. First we should decide what our topic will be. Brainstorm ideas on the board. Vote on the topic choice. We need to begin with an “attention grabber.Should we start with a quotation, definition, or fact? Let student’s think of an attention getter and one will write it on the board/overhead/elmo/chart paper. Next we will transition to the main topic. I will need another volunteer. Let another student write a sentence. Then we need to form a thesis statement. Remember, this needs to expresses the writer’s opinion about the subject of the essay. Lastly we need an overview of the main points of the essay. Student writes. Great! Have student read over what we have

so far. What do you guys think? Allow students to make revisions as needed. Now it’s you’re turn!

You do together:

Work with a partner to write an introduction following this same model. Now you get to practice this on your own.

You do alone:

Students work on their own introduction.

Student actions:

  • - Listen to read aloud.

  • - Participate in discussion.

  • - Read and discuss hand out – It’s All Greek to Me!

  • - Brainstorm what are you passionate about?

  • - Choose a topic for persuasive essay.

  • - Participate in GRRM

  • - Write an introduction for their persuasive essays.

It’s All Greek to Me!

It’ s All Greek to Me! The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, identified three different genres of rhetoric.

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, identified three different genres of rhetoric. Rhetoric is the art of discourse. Its aim is to improve a speakers or writers ability to inform, persuade, or entertain the audience or reader. In this coming unit we will focus on one of these genres. We will study how to write a persuasive essay.

What is in a persuasive essay?

A persuasive essay attempts to persuade the reader that the writer’s opinion on a controversial issue is the right one. The writer presents one side of the issue and supports his or her opinion with arguments backed up by evidence.

How do you get started?

The beginning of a persuasive essay always begins with an introductory paragraph. You begin an introductory paragraph with

an attention grabber. Using an attention grabber is a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Some people use quotations, while others use definitions or facts. Next, you will need to transition into your main topic. Then,

you will have a thesis statement. This is a critical sentence. It tells the reader what the writer’s opinion is about the subject

of the essay. Lastly, you will want to have an overview, to give a road map of the main points of the essay.

Day 2:

Topic: Structuring the Essay

Body Paragraphs Use of connectives

Resources:

Student’s ideas

Teacher actions:

Think back to yesterday’s book: My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Steven L. Layne What were the different persuasive arguments that Joey used? -More food -Quality meal -Easy to capture -Exceptional Taste

Note that he listed multiple reasons to make his argument. Explain and instigate power writing. Between each session give a minute break to relax and think of a new reason to write about. Teacher participates in the power writing session. Teacher models break apart

Student actions:

Students think back to the book from yesterday. Students think of the arguments in the book. Students listen to what power writing is. Students will power write for 2 mins on first point. Students will power write for 2 mins on second point. Students will power write for 2 mins on third point. Students will follow as the teacher models breaking apart into different points. Students will insert connectives into their paragraphs.

Day 3:

Topic: Types of Evidence

There are three kinds of evidence:

-

Statistics

-

Expert opinion

-

Example

Resources:

Library & Computer

Teacher actions:

Go over the three kinds or evidence. Allow research time. While students are researching, pull individuals for conferences on where they want to go from here with their persuasive essay.

Student actions:

Students will go out and find their own evidence.

Day 4:

Topic: Ordering

There are many ways to order a persuasive essay:

Counter argument and rebuttal Problem, cause, solution Weakest in the middle

Resources:

Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M Hoose

Teacher actions:

Generative writing. Use “learning” as a gerund in a sentence. Now make that sentence the

second sentence in a paragraph. Read Aloud:

Focus on the counter arguments and rebuttals. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M Hoose Discussion on what they remember. How does this impact order of persuasive essay?

Student actions:

Participate in generative writing. Listen to and discuss Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M Hoose Brainstorm counter arguments and form rebuttals for their own topic. Try to incorporate some into their essay. Students will use a self-assessment rubric to check and see how they are doing. They will reflect on this and we will conference the next day.

Day 5:

Topic: Logic Equation for Persuasion

Logos appeal to logic Pathos appeal to emotion Ethos appeal to authority

Resources:

My handout The Equation for Persuasion The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

Teacher actions:

Go over the hand out Look for Logos, Pathos, Ethos. Read Aloud. Lead discussion. Allow writing time to incorporate what we have discussed today. Conference with students over self assessment rubric

Student actions:

Go over hand out and fill in blanks. Listen to the book. Discuss logos, pathos, and ethos. Apply to own writing.

Name: ______________________

_______

_______

+

_______

(Logos)

(Ethos)

(Pathos)

_____________________________________________________________

The Equation for Persuasion

Read and fill in the above blanks.

Aristotle also discussed three appeals, or methods of persuasion. He called these: logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos is an appeal to logic. You can appeal to a person’s logic through facts, statistics, logical reasoning, analogies, and case studies. Ethos was an appeal to authority. This means that the author or speaker establishes credibility. This can be established through personal experiences or trust-worthy resources. Lastly, there is Pathos, which is an appeal to emotion. This can appeal to the audiences’ intrinsic belief in fairness, “doing it for the children”, patriotism, etc.

Day 6:

Topic: Conclusion

Key phrases Clincher Go full circle and connect to the introduction Ask a rhetorical question Give an action point

Resources:

Teacher actions:

Discuss the parts of the conclusion. Play the speech. Which clincher strategy or strategies did he use? Ask students to write their own conclusions.

Student actions:

Find which clincher was used for each speech. Write their conclusions. Share with a partner. Revise as needed. Hand in.

Assessment:

There are scheduled conference times, during which I can see where in particular students need more help. On day 3, I conference with students. On day 4, the student does a self-assessment after writing. On day 5, we conference to go over the self- assessment. On day 6, the student finishes his or her work and I use a final rubric to grade the persuasive essay.

Day 3 conference

Teacher checklist:

 

Yes

No

Has the student included and introduction?

______

______

Does the introduction have an opener?

______

______

Does the introduction have a transition?

______

______

Does the introduction have a thesis?

______

______

Does the introduction have an overview?

______

______

Does the body have at least 3 points?

______

______

Day 4 self-assessment

Student checklist:

 

Yes

No

Did I introduce my topic clearly?

______

______

Did I state my opinion?

______

______

Did I provide evidence?

______

______

Did I include all of the parts of the intro?

______

______

Did I consider the counter argument?

______

______

Did I provide an adequate rebuttal?

______

______

What is one thing I did well?

What is one thing I can I improve?

Day 5 conference Is the student noticing where improvements are needed? Is a concise argument forming?

Final rubric:

Attached

Differentiation and Extension:

GRRM This will help students to make the connection between what they are supposed to do and what it will look like. This is a general differentiation strategy to help all students.

Choice of topic This allows for differences in interest and level of abstract concepts.

Conferences These allow for more direct teacher assistance, and allow for specific needs of students to be met. This is also a great opportunity for students who need a bit of a challenge to receive that individualized attention.

Flexible Schedule This is not a set 6 day schedule, even though it has been outlined that way. It is free to change as needed.