Monday, January 10, 2011

Persuasive Letters

Hello Readers!  The above banana was in the mailbox of North Street School's principal, Mr. Fereira on one of the days I was there to work with him and his amazing teachers.  This young writer received messages from his own mom on bananas in his lunch and perhaps decided to persuade Mr. Fereira to eat more bananas.  Interesting paper choice Little Love!

Are you in the midst of a persuasive writing unit in your first, second, or third grade classroom?  You might be looking for some supports.  I have a bunch of links to share with you that you can use in your classroom right away.

Each link comes from work with teachers like Andi, Sarah, Liz, Katherine, and more that were featured in my book, Teaching Persuasive Writing, K-2.  Special thanks to all of these teachers!

And, special thanks to all of you for honoring your students' voices and giving them an opportunity to make their family, neighborhood, school, and community stronger through their words.

Supports You Can Use in Your Room
Demo Writing from Students
Many teachers like to show students a sample letter at the beginning of a unit to show them how they can make a difference.  You may like the see Alexandra's letterthe principal's response to Alexandra's letter, and Niamh's letter.  You can print each one out, and use them in minilessons and conferences to show kids what is possible in their own letters.

Your Own Demo Writing
You will want to do your own writing in front of students too.  Here is a sample.  Note the ways this teachers has highlighted for students the things she is doing as a writer to make her letter more persuasive.

A Newly Organized Writing Center
You may also want to create mail baskets to organize all of those letters!  See the photo from Andi's writing center to see how she organized for delivery.  You can also see how she organized extra supplies.

Here is another photo of Andi's writing center, labeled as the Post Office for this Unit.

Charts to Support Independence
Andi and I also used this chart in many minilessons to help kids craft powerful letters with supporting detail.  It seems to match the common core standards for developing an opinion and then supporting that opinion with reasons.


  1. OMG I am definitely going to start writing messages on bananas right now!

    Last week a student I conferred with wrote to his parents to persuade them to get him a Jets jersey so that he could coordinate with his best friend and wear it to school on the same day. Today, sure enough, he came to school in his new Jersey. The letter he wrote today was asking for a goldfish-he's upping the ante!

  2. Thats a really interesting way to send messages I think it's cool