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! 🙂

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