There's one thing about the writing process and teaching the writing process that I find daunting sometimes and that is that not every student is in the same place at the same time. The stronger writers are always done first and thirsting for something else to do and the weaker writers either give up or are also done first and don't understand why I say they're not done!!
Once you find a way to deal with the organizational aspect, writing can be so fun to teach and I find it's where students show a ton of growth. I deal with the organizational aspect with a pencil chart (see photo in this section) and with grouping students by stages of the writing process. When my stronger writers finish- I always look their papers over first- I offer them the option to type their writing to enhance their keyboarding skills. The weaker writers who are always done first are offered extra time with me for editing and skill work and the rest of the group usually finishes right when they should.
When it was time for writing today, there wasn't a need for a great deal of talking, all the students know where they were and what needed to be done. I handed out the their papers, got them situated and they were off. It was so easy to keep them engaged with this assignment simply because it was authentic.
In choosing who to write to for your persuasive writing piece, be sure to protect the authenticity. Students need this type of real world writing so let them have it. It's the best way to keep them engaged and create lasting connections.
We literally spent the entire class time in a mad frenzy to get the letters to Ellen written, edited and final copied so we could get them to the "campaign manager"! At the end of the time, the kiddos were exhausted but satisfied and then I told them I had a final question for them.
I had to ask students this question: "What did you learn from this lesson and what are some other times you could use persuasion to your advantage?"
This question is the crux of the whole lesson. Students need to know when to use persuasion and when it is being used on them. Being consumers in society and growing up in a world of information overload, kids need to be savvy when it comes to the power of persuasion. That's what I wanted them to get. If we get the computer lab then yeah for that too!!
In your persuasive writing lesson- no matter who you write to- I hope your students gain those skills as well.