Friday, January 21, 2011

Partner Time in the Persuasive Letter Writing Unit

Are your first or second grade writers passionately composing letters?  Do you notice things that could use improvement but aren't sure what to do?  I have a few tips for your partner time that can help you and your young writers compose powerful letters!

First, let's talk a little about partner time in writing workshop.  You may want to partner kids in this unit who are writing on similar topics or perhaps kids who get caught up in similar causes and write several letters to different people on a topic.  Or, you may want to partner each writer with another writer with whom they share a strong social connection.  Kids are writing about topics near and dear to their hearts.  Who better than to help you develop a strong reason or an anecdote than someone who knows you best?  Give the kids time with the people who can help them most.  I suggest 5 minutes in the middle of writing workshop as partner time to give kids a boost.  This partner time will no doubt increase volume too.

Here are a few things to teach partners in this unit:

One partner pretends she is the audience for her partner.  The writer rereads his letter and asks his partner, “Does my letter make sense?  Do you understand what I am trying to change?” 

One partner can read her letter and tell her partner the problem she is trying to solve with her persuasive letter.  She can ask her partner for help developing reasons why the problem is important to change.  The partner can listen to the problem and suggest some reasons. 

One partner can read his letter and tell his partner the problem he is trying to solve with his persuasive letter.  He can ask his partner for help developing some ways he could be part of the solution or change process.

Happy writing everyone!

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