Recent Posts

Friday, April 30, 2010

Convince Me: Real-Life Uses for Persuasive Writing

We engage in negotiations all day long:
  • convincing ourselves to eat that healthy cereal instead of that frosted donut,
  • assuring our teenage daughter that her shirt was not shrunk in the dryer and that, yes, it looks fine;
  • convincing our six year-old that she still remembers how to tie her own shoes since yesterday and doesn't need help;
  • imploring the stranger in the car at the intersection to let us cut in;
  • assuring a parent via email that yes, we do know what we're doing;
  • guaranteeing an administrator that a professional release day will, in fact, improve our teaching practice, and
  • convincing students that their best efforts will produce better results.
Persuasion is a life skill. At the same time, however, it is too often taught and tested as a formalized, discrete, and isolated exercise. For that reason, students fail to realize the importance and pervasiveness of persuasion in their own lives.

The following video, produced by Education with Vision, helps students understand some of the key aspects a persuasive argument, along with some real-life examples.

Looking for some simple yet effective extensions? Check out So What's Your Point? over at Teach with Picture Books. You'll find some great online resources for students at all grade levels to practice persuasive writing.

If you're looking for a ready desk reference, Nonfiction Craft Lessons by JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher (Stenhouse) and Writing to Persuade: Minilessons to Help Students Plan, Draft, and Revise, Grades 3-8 by Karen Caine (Heinemann) are two titles that I use and recommend.

Have other resources to suggest? Leave a comment below or email me. Would love to hear from you!


Post a Comment