Lesson: Intro. to Persuasive Writing

Susan Fields Epiphany School, Ma Dorchester Center, MA
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Lesson Objective

SWBAT explain the purpose of persuasive writing; list the sources from which they can derive support for their argument; explain the purpose of a topic sentence in a persuasive paragraph.

Lesson Plan


Just the other day, I was trying to persuade my dad to come up to
Boston for the eighth grader’s graduation.  I was telling him how this was my last year at Epiphany, this was the last chance he’d have to meet my students, how he hadn’t had a vacation in a long time.  My argument worked, and I actually persuaded my dad to come!

When have you had to persuade someone of something recently?  [Elicit several responses.] Well, today we’re going to formalize this process and learn how to write a persuasive paragraph.


Introduction to New Material:

Have students take guesses on what should complete the following blanks before giving them the answers:


1       The purpose of persuasive writing is _________________________.

   (to convince someone of your opinion on an issue.)


2       You can gather evidence for your argument from _______________,

(personal experience, interviews)

__________________________, and ________________________.

          (articles, books, newspapers)                                            (internet)


3       The topic sentence of a persuasive paragraph states _____________.

            (your position on the issue)


4       Audience is important in persuasive writing because ____________________________________________.

(you have to tailor your tone and content to best appeal to your audience)



5       Some current hot-button issues that involve persuasion are _________________, _________________, __________________.

(immigration, gun control, death penalty, withdrawing from Iraq, uniforms in school, cell phones in school, longer recess.)


Guided Practice Practice:

          Students vote on an issue that they’d most like to explore.  Then, with teacher they fill in answers on document “Guided Practice – Defining Persuasive Writing.” My kids chose “Cell Phones Should Be Allowed in Schools” with the audience being the school’s administration.


1   The purpose is to convince Epiphany School’s administration that cell phones should be allowed in schools.


2       You can gather evidence for your argument from our personal experience, the internet, interviews with students at other schools where cell phones are allowed


3       The topic sentence of this persuasive paragraph will be:

Cell phones should be allowed in schools. 


4       Our audience is the Epiphany School administration, so we will have to consider adopting a serious tone and really address where they are coming from on the issue.


 Independent Practice:


          Students independently complete Persuasive Writing Quizzito.

Lesson Resources

persuasive.guided practice defining per. writing.doc  
persuasive.Persuasive Writing Quizzito.doc  


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