Since the students know the topic of today's lesson, they come in buzzing about the products they've chosen. One smartie pants has even "pre read" the reviews on Amazon to get some ideas of what will convince me to buy their product.
I show the same products we had looked at previously and have the students vote on which I should buy. We have the conversation about why we chose the product we did. We came to the conclusion that some of us were "convinced" by some of the reviews. We could be convinced in a positive way or a negative way and that most of us were convinced to NOT buy most of the As Seen on TV items.
Having gotten the word "convinced" out in class discussion, it was time for them to convince me.
We make a tentative list of products that the students will be writing about. They range from the Xbox to the Rainbow Loom and I hand out the organizers. I strongly encourage students to spend no more than 10 minutes on their organizers. Some of my kiddos haven't gotten it straight in their minds that the graphic organizer is just the planning stage. When it comes to the drafting part, many of them still ask, "Do I just copy this (the graphic organizer)?"
I hand out the graphic and they begin. When their graphic is finished, the students can come to me and get the paragraph paper and start that. I spend this time working as a scribe for some of my kiddos that struggle with getting ideas in writing.
Near the end of class, I have a pile of some paragraphs. I allow those people to share if they want and then let the rest of the students take their paragraphs home for homework.
I tell the students that as I read and grade their reviews, I'm going to be looking extra hard at how convincing they were and those will be the ones that receive the highest grades.