Last week, the 3rd graders worked to design a classroom community of their own. Considering what rights, laws, leaders, and other qualities they would want in a classroom, they created a book to display their vision. If you're interested in what your child came up with, check out the bulletin board outside of our room!
This week and next week, the students will work towards writing a paragraph or essay persuading someone to join the ideal classroom community that they've created. In order to do this, they must first have a solid understanding of what persuasion is. We built some background knowledge about persuasion when we studied campaign posters in October. We tried to figure out why certain colors, images, and words were on the poster, and what the candidate was trying to convince people of.
In trying to distinguish between persuasive writing and other types of writing, we played a game called, D, N, or P. I wrote a sentence on the board, and the students wrote either D for descriptive, N for narrative, or P for persuasive -- depending on the type of sentence. Students then posted their response on the board. Many times, we would get a variety of responses, giving students the opportunity to defend their reasoning and develop a more nuanced understanding of the different types of writing.
To demonstrate understanding, the students then wrote a descriptive, narrative, and persuasive sentence on a subject they know lots about -- themselves!
Examples of persuasion are all around us -- in commercials, advertisements, and billboards. You can take advantage of this by creating a learning opportunity for your child. Asking questions such as, "What are they trying to persuade us to do or believe?" "Are they using our logic, emotions, or beliefs to persuade us?" and "Does this (advertisement, commercial, etc.) persuade you?" can help your child transfer her knowledge into the real world.
Little people, big minds.