“Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” -Abraham Joshua Herschel
We are certainly living in a time when we see the power of words. The ability to share them quickly with an audience all over the world is unique to this time in history. I listen to the courageous, passionate teenagers who survived the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. I read letters to politicians from students who demand changes because they want to be safe in school. These teenagers are using their voice and will be heard. So when is the time to begin teaching children how to write with passion so that people will listen? It turns out the time is now. Third graders are learning how to write persuasively, and I can imagine in a few years they will follow in the footsteps of those teenagers to make changes we so desperately need in our country.
I introduced persuasive writing this quarter by sharing a letter that a five year old child wrote to the CEO of The Gap. Click here to check it out. We continued by writing a letter to Mrs. Scharf Anderson to request adding some new books to our classroom library. She read every letter and your children were successful in their quest to expand our classroom library! Students have been writing “long and strong” and are learning how to organize their work and support their claims. They recently learned to anticipate what a reader might ask. They are using phrases in their writing such as, “You might wonder why”, or “If you’re concerned about _______, let me explain”. They see a real world purpose to this work and they have conversations with each other where they advise a friend to write a persuasive letter to address an issue. I hope you see the vast difference in this kind of curriculum versus simply completing a writing prompt. I’m excited to show you their progress at parent teacher conferences in March.
Here is a link to the checklist students use to set goals and check their progress.
I love to add photos of the students working together! Enjoy these too.