Learning the Genre of Persuasive Essay

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SWBAT be able to determine how a persuasive text is constructed by determining an author’s point of view and the claims they are making about their point of view.

Big Idea

What do you want?

Lesson Opener

15 minutes

 In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say, “During our last unit we tried our persuasive techniques in our presentations. We are now going to take what we learned about persuasion and essay writing from our last two units and start a new unit on persuasive essay.

Teach: I want to think of the last thing you asked your parents or guardians for? Maybe it was to stay out later than you are usually allowed or it was for a piece of clothing you wanted to buy. How did you try to persuade them to give you what you wanted? Turn and tell your partner what you wanted and how you tried to persuade someone to give it to you. I willl have a couple of students share out and then I will say, “You practice persuasion in your every day life. In this unit we are going to take what you already know how to do verbally and write about it.

“In order to learn about the genre of pesuasive writing, I am going to show you how to practice the skill of learning a new genre and the strategy of using a mentor text to discover how an author structures a persusave text. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Remind myself of the meanings of the vocabulary words for this unit  

2) Read the example of persuasive writing (mentor text)

3) Stop and jot  where I see the author’s moves by annotating on the text

In the explanatory essay writing unit, students were exposed and practiced the words for this unit, “claim, reason, evidence and point of view.” I will place these back on the word wall and we will go over them again. I will model for students how I read through a half of a persuasive piece of writing* and how I notate the authors’ moves and annotate the text for the four terms.  

*I will use an article from the website “Newsela.” I will take time in class today for students to register if they have a mobile device in which they can read the article. Here are some tips to give to students. This will take an addition 5-10 minutes of the lesson. That is why the lesson opener time is at 15 minutes. Here are Newsela Registration and Tips.


Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “You will now read the other half of the article with your partner. You will stop and jot notes when you see one of the components of a persuasive piece of writing (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ask the students, “What did you jot notes about and where did you annotate it in your text?”

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of learning a new genre by using the strategy of using a mentor text to discover the craft moves authors make. The process they use is become familiar with vocabulary words that are connected to author’s craft’s moves, read the text, stop and jot where they see the author’s moves.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read over another piece of persuasive writing, take notes and annotate the text. I will walk around and confer with students around their note-taking and annotations using these possible conferences.


5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.


1)      What is an example of a claim, reason and piece of evidence you found today? 

Here is an example of how I assess my students' understanding through exit tickets.