Grade 4-8 Persuasive Writing Activities
TO THE TEACHER
Persuasive writing skills help students become better thinkers and learners. Persuasive conversations require planning, research, and evaluation. An effective persuasive writer decides on an opinion, supports that opinion, and convinces the reader to agree with it.
Persuasive Writing guides the learner step-by-step from idea to polished composition.
The goals of this book are the following:
• To instill in students a desire to express themselves in writing
• To teach and reinforce writing skills and enhance writing competence and confidence
• To provide high-interest, meaningful lessons that inspire creativity and critical thinking The lessons in this book contain background information, checklists, graphic organizers, and write-in activities. Every lesson also includes a “student assignment” to offer extra practice.
This book is organized into four sections:
I. All About Persuasive Writing describes the types of persuasive composition and their purposes. It teaches the components needed to write an effective persuasive paper.
WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity
Sample PDF Activity
What Is Persuasive Writing?
Persuasive writing can be powerful. It can make a difference in the way the world works and the way people think.
Thomas Jefferson used persuasive writing in the Declaration of Independence. He gave reasons why the American colonies should be free from England’s rule.
Martin Luther King, Jr., used persuasive writing in his “I Have a Dream” speech. He spoke about his vision that Americans would one day enjoy racial freedom and unity.
Rachel Carson wrote persuasively in her book The Silent Spring. She raised awareness of the dangers of pesticides and chemicals to the environment.
Persuasive writing is not always used for good. Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf rallied people against the Jews and other minorities. Millions of people were killed because of Hitler’s beliefs.
Persuasive writing might be about major issues or less important topics. Big or small, a successful persuasive paper is influential.
Activity: You probably have used persuasive writing before: a letter to your parent explaining why you need a later bedtime; an e-mail to your best friend giving advice and opinions about a relationship; an essay in the school paper encouraging kids to sign up for a new club; or a speech for class elections in which you were running for vice-president. Answer the following questions:
When have you used persuasive writing? Give an example.
Who were you trying to persuade?
What was your point of view?
Did it work? Did the reader seem convinced by your arguments? Tell why or why not.
Student Assignment: Read a famous persuasive paper. Choose one of those mentioned above, or go to the library to find another one. Write a paragraph about how this author’s opinions changed the world.
There are many subjects to write about. Here are some ideas to get you started!
Shoplifting is harmful.
Star Wars is the best science fiction movie ever made.
Kids shouldn’t watch more than one hour of television a day.
Our school should have a holiday dance.
Everyone should learn the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
My teacher should be voted “Teacher of the Year.”
Young children shouldn’t see “R” rated movies.
Immigration should be restricted.
Drinking and driving is dangerous.
Ferrets make great pets.
Seniors should have to do volunteer work before they graduate.
Babysitting is a good way to make money.
Cliques are a problem at our school.
Electric cars are good for the environment.
The Internet is a positive tool.
Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in history.
The Constitution’s First Amendment is important.
Horseback riding can help the disabled.
Pesticides are not safe.
Our neighborhood needs better law enforcement.
More school budget money should be spent on technology.
Breakfast should be served in schools.
A romantic breakup isn’t the end of the world.
We should raise money for the local Humane Society.
The video game _ could be improved.
Abe Lincoln was the most effective president.
I should be class president.
Astronauts should go to Mars.
Guns should have safety latches.
Colonial Williamsburg is an exciting field trip.
Our school should have an environmental club.
Harry Potter is a great book for children and adults.
My parents should let me get my ears pierced.
Music lyrics influence kids.
Keeping a journal or diary is helpful.
Celebrities shouldn’t be heroes.
Student Assignment: Choose one of the writing prompts. Write a persuasive composition
about that topic.
Table of Contents
All About Persuasive Writing
What is Persuasive Writing? – 1
Why is Persuasive Writing Important? – 2
Writing Prompts – 3
Fact or Opinion – 4
Two Sides to Every Issue – 5
The Other Side – 6
Supporting An Opinion – 7
Types of Persuasive Papers – 8
What is In a Persuasive Paper? – 9
Persuasive Language – 10
Example of a Persuasive Essay – 11
Map a Persuasive Essay – 12
The Writing Process
The Writing Process – 13
Don’t Skip the Stages – 14
Prewriting – 15
What Do I Write About? – 16
Choosing Your Topic – 17
Freedom of Choice? – 18
Explore Your Topic – 19
Who Is Your Audience? – 20
Go Straight to the Source! – 21
Taking Notes – 22
Pros and Cons – 23
Pros and Cons: “A Big Decision” – 24
Graphic Organizer #1: The Outline – 25
Your Outline – 26
Graphic Organizer #2: Mapping – 27
Writing a Composition Using a Map – 28
Key Points – 29
Graphic Organizer #3: Boxing Your Composition – 30
Linking Words – 31
Prewriting: Finishing Up – 32
The First Draft – 33
The Lead – 34
The Opening Paragraph – 35
The Body – 36
The Body (Continued) – 37
The Closing Paragraph – 38
Revising – 39
The Writing Basics – 40
Editing – 41
Proofreading – 42
The Final Draft – 43
Publishing – 44
Different Types of Persuasive Writing
Persuasive Business Letter – 45
Persuasive Personal Letter – 46
Writing a Persuasive Personal Letter – 47
Letter to the Editor – 48
The Editorial – 49
Writing an Editorial – 50
Editorial Cartoon – 51
Create Your Own Editorial Cartoon – 52
The Debate – 53
Two Sides of a Debate – 54
Reviews – 55
Review Map – 56
Writing a Review – 57
Write a Book Review – 58
Advertisements – 59
Advice Column – 60
Final Composition – 61
Final Student Assessment – 62
Final Student Assessment (Continued) – 63
Final Teacher Assessment – 64