Workshop Wednesday: Persuasive Writing - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday: Persuasive Writing

Happy Wednesday!

So glad you're here for Workshop Wednesday!
Today's topic is related to Writing Workshop- How do you teach Opinion/Persuasive/Argument Writing?

In fourth grade, the Common Core standards call it opinion writing. Fourth grade students are required to share their opinion and give details that support their opinion. They should also provide reasons for their opinion. One of my favorite books to use for their first opinion writing piece is Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose.
In the book, a little boy is about to step on an ant. The ant gives all the reasons the boy should not step on him, and the boy gives all the reasons he should just go ahead and step on him. The book ends with the question, "what do you think the boy should do?" PERFECT for the students to give their opinion!

First, we make a list as a class of the pros and cons of ants. (Of course, we talk about what those words mean...) This gives them a good list to "borrow" from in their own writing, no matter what their opinion might be.  *I wish I had a picture of the list we created... there were some good ones!!
Some of their reasons I can remember are:

  • pro- Ants pick up the crumbs we drop to help keep our Earth clean. 
  • con- There are some ants in tropical areas that eat humans alive.
  • pro- Ants are part of food chains.
  • con- Ants can ruin picnics and steal our food.

As I said, we get a pretty big list after all of the kiddos give the reasons they can think of. Then, students should narrow down their reasons for their opinion to just three, along with explanations and details of their reasons. Here is the brainstorm page I give them- click here or on the image to download it for free!
My kids really love writing this one! I can't wait to read all of your ideas for persuasive/opinion/argument writing! :)

Please make sure when you link up that you grab the button and link your post back to this post! Also, let's share the love and comment on and/or follow at least two other link-ups! :)


  1. I love using this book with my kids too. Such a great way to introduce them to this kind of writing. I'll miss this linky party over the summer (but I totally get why you won't be running it!)

  2. This book looks adorable! I will have to keep it in mind for persuasive writing.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  3. This looks like a wonderful book! Would it be appropriate for second grade to introduce the idea of persuasion? Thanks so much for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

    1. Oh absolutely! I did it with my first graders, third graders, and now fourth graders! They love the book the same, but their pieces become more complex! :)

  4. We haven't started CCSS. We will fully implement next year. I need all the ideas I can for opinion writing. Are you have a linky on this one? I don't see a place to link up.
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  5. Love that it ends with your prompt! PERFECT! :) Thanks for hosting. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  6. I love the book Hey Little Ant and love your graphic organizer freebie, thank you so much! Love this week's topic - so many great ideas!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  7. I forgot about this book-have to pin it so I remember! Thanks for the freebie and hosting!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. Aw man, you and some of your other link ups beat me to all of my favorite books! Good to see that others love using them too. And thanks for the freebie for Hey, Little Ant!

  9. Yay!! This is an awesome post! I pinned it for later reference! I wish I could link up but my little girl turned six today and it has been crazy around here:) I still need to read the tried-its from yesterday! Will be back later to pin some more ideas from your link ups. Thanks!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  10. I seriously think of this story every time I see an ant on the sidewalk that I almost stepped on! Sorry I didn't link up this week -- end of the year craziness. Hope you are enjoying your vacation!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  11. I absolutely LOVE this idea! The kids loved the persuasive writing unit this year, but I love this idea to draw them in and engage them from the beginning. I definitely will have to use this next year! :) I'm your newest follower and new to the blogging world! I'd love for you to check out my blog and follow me as well! :)

    Adventures in Room 204

  12. I love this book!! I used it a few weeks ago for persuasive writing. My kids pretended they were little and the ant was big. They had to talk the ant into not squishing them! They came out awesome!!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade


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