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Unit Overview

Unit Title: Writing a Persuasive Essay Developed by: Kelley Sullivan Grade: 4th Subject: Writing Genre: Persuasive

Length/Time: 4 lessons (+ more lessons to finish unit), 30 minutes per lesson

Desired Results and Learning Outcomes

Prerequisite Skills: Students began their writing subject with me by creating a personal writing project. We then moved into writing a narrative essay as an entire class, and then students wrote their own narrative essays. They have learned and gone through the steps of the writing process, and they have experienced how to organize an essay. This unit will introduce the specific skills and pieces of writing a persuasive essay, which they might have been introduced to in previous grades, but will go into more detail in 4th grade. Key Vocabulary in this Unit: -persuade -argument -counter-argument -audience Materials: (e.g., internet resources and supplies) -Video from school principal regarding school uniforms (Motivation for writing a persuasive essay) -Writing journals -Student net books -Copies of organizers, planning sheets, and checklists for each student -SMART Board & SMART Board presentations, Anchor Charts -Anchor chart and lesson ideas from: -Graphic organizer ideas from: -OREO Organizer ideas from: -Persuasive writing self checklist, self progress report checklist, and progress report checklist adapted from Lucy Calkins and Colleagues from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project from Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 4 (2013) Texts: (e.g., mentor texts) Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays by: Lucy Calkins I Wanna Iguana by: Karen Kaufman Orloff Unit Summary: In a few sentences, describe the topic(s) and key activities that the students will engage in during the unit. This unit will focus on writing persuasive essays. Students will be introduced to forming an argument by using a mentor text as an example. They will learn the layout of a persuasive essay using the OREO template, which we will discuss as a class based on the mentor text (presented by Persuasive Genre group in CI 476). As a class we will discuss how to form an argument and support it using reasons and evidence and also how to plan for an audiences counter-arguments. Students will then view a video created by our principal suggesting that school uniforms become mandatory Students will be assigned to write a persuasive essay to our principal either supporting this proposition or stating why they are against it. They will be provided with a graphic organizer as a pre-writing tool, and they will use this to help form their essays.

Targeted Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.C Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.D Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.) CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.) Objectives: Students will be able to identify the audience to whom they are writing and trying to persuade. Students will be able to form at least three arguments to support their opinion. Students will be able to identify possible counter-arguments of their audience. Students will be able to go through each stage of the writing process while working on their essay (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). Enduring Understanding (Big Ideas): -The purpose of persuasive writing is to try and convince your audience using reasons that support your opinion. As the result of this unit, Students will know (concepts)
-That their opinion should be supported with main arguments using details and evidence -That when trying to persuade their audience, they should consider/anticipate the counter-arguments of their audience

Essential Question(s)--overarching and topical: Who are you trying to persuade? What is your opinion and why do you feel that way? What opinions might your audience have? As the result of this unit, Students will be able to (skills) -Use details and evidence to support their main arguments -Structure a persuasive essay using an introduction, three body paragraphs containing their main arguments, and a conclusion

Performance Task(s): (a)What will students do to demonstrate their learning? Students will write their own persuasive essay in response to our principals suggestion that we will have mandatory uniforms at our school. They will progress through the writing process in order to continually adjust their essays until they are ready for their essays to be published. (b) What criteria will you use to assess student performance? (Attach checklist, rubric, etc. or explain criteria) Checklists and rubric (see below) Student behavior while working with a writing partner and/or in small groups will also be monitored and factors in to a portion of their final essay grade (also included on rubric below). Other Evidence (preassessment, formative, summative): Preassessment: Discussing as a class what it means to persuade and judging by their responses what students already know about writing with a persuasive style Formative: I will be conferencing with students individually and in small groups, since they will be progressing throughout the writing process at varying times throughout this unit. Through these conferences I will be able to check for student understanding, and I will be taking note of students effort and participation during the allotted writing time. Summative: Students will submit their final copy of their essay along with all of the copies from each stage of the writing process. How will students reflect and self-assess their own learning? -As students work with a partner to revise, they need to consider the suggestions that their partner made. -In the editing process, the students will self-edit, then peer-edit, and then finally I will edit their papers. This allows them to have three different people look over their writing. -Before submitting their published copy of their essay, students fill out a self evaluation where they highlight what they did well, why they liked their writing, and some goals for future writing (see below)
As you prepare, think about How will you hook students at the beginning of the unit? What events will help students experience and explore the big idea(s) and questions in the unit? How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?

Learning Plan
Provide a clear description of the scope and sequence of student activities over the course of your unit. Lesson #1: (Whole class) Ask students if theyve ever tried to persuade their parents to let them do something. Talk about what it means to persuade. Introduce I Wanna Iguana and complete anchor

How will you cause students to reflect? How will you guide them in rehearsing, revising, and refining their work? How will you help students to exhibit and selfevaluate their skills, knowledge, and understanding throughout the unit? How will you organize and sequence the learning activities to optimize the engagement and achievement of all students?

chart listing valid reasons and invalid reasons for wanting something. I will then show a video from our school principal to introduce the topic of school uniforms. Present task to students that they need to decide whether or not this is a good idea and then write an essay to our principal trying to persuade her either way. As a class, list phrases to use when presenting an opinion and the reasons supporting that opinion. (Individual) Students begin prewriting (using graphic organizer). Lesson #2: (Whole class) Using the two anchor charts on the SMART Board, we will discuss the how authors persuade their readers, identifying possible counter arguments, and how to organize a persuasive essay. (Individual) Students will use the OREO organizer to outline their essay. I will begin conferencing with students to see how they are planning to organize their essays. Lesson #3: (Whole class) Using the SMART Board anchor chart with a focus on powerful words to use to persuade someone, we will collect ideas as a class and then share a list found online. (Individual) Students will choose about five powerful words that they think might help them write more effectively. They will continue their OREO organizer and begin flash drafting. When finished, they will be encouraged to read through their draft out loud to themselves and think about where they can add details and make their argument stronger. I will continue conferencing with students to help if they are stuck or finish early and are ready to continue working on their essays. Lesson #4: Students finish drafting (if applicable) and move to revising their writing. I will meet with students individually to discuss revisions for their essays. Students will be encouraged to add details and expand their writing. They will meet with a writing partner to give and receive feedback on each others essays. Lesson #5: Students will be revising and self- and peer-editing during this time. I will conference with students to discuss what changes they are making to their writing. Lesson #6: Students will be working on their final copy of their persuasive essay at this time if they have finished revising and editing. Lesson #7: Students will finish any revisions and editing to complete their final copy. Sharing may take place at this time for the students who are finished. Students will fill out comment and suggestion cards for one another, and they will fill out self evaluation forms for themselves.

Meeting the Needs of All Learners

How will you differentiate instruction (e.g., flexible grouping, self-selection of product)? Students will have a choice on what they want to write about based on their opinion with regards to the prompt. Some of the students write very quickly, and they will need to be pushed to expand on their ideas and add detail to their writing. Other students take a long time to think through their ideas before they begin writing. I will spend more time with these students during the pre-writing stage so that they can more easily begin drafting. Students will work with writing partners based on when they finish a stage of the writing process (ex: Once two students finish drafting, they will work on revising each others essays). Some students will need re-explaining throughout the lessons, which I will be able to do once the rest of the class begins working independently. accommodate students with special needs (e.g., use of assistive technology)? Students who receive writing intervention are pulled out during our writing class, which leaves me working with seven students. Students will have the choice to handwrite or type their essays as they move through the writing process, since some of the students do not enjoy writing by hand and have difficult handwriting to read. Everyone will type their revised and final copies of the essay in order to edit turn in at the end. provide culturally responsive instruction to English learners or dialect speakers (e.g., scaffold instruction, comprehensible input, multicultural texts)? I do not have any English learners in this class. If I did, then I would scaffold the instruction by providing the learner with more structured templates for going through the writing process. I would include more pictures, labels and extra descriptions, and I would often check to understand that the learner understood what was expected of them. English language learners could also be paired up with native English-speaking students to work on their essays.

Persuasive Pre-Writing
Persuasive Word Box Three reasons WHY I have this opinion:

My opinion:

People with a different opinion might say

Ways to convince people to agree with me

Persuasive Essay OREO Essay Organizer

Paragraph #1 - Introduction Attention-grabbing beginning-

Description of issue-

My Opinion statement-

Paragraph #2

Paragraph #3

Paragraph #4

Reason #1-

Reason #2-

Reason #3-

Evidence to support reason #1:

(details and examples) -

Evidence to support reason #2:

(details and examples) -

Evidence to support reason #3:

(details and examples) -

Paragraph #5 - Conclusion Restate my Opinion-

Summarize my 3 reasons

Call to action or closing statement-

My Persuasive Essay Flash Draft

Introduction Introduce your argument. Write a statement of your opinion. Include your three best reasons that support your opinion. Write the flash draft of your introduction.

Body Explain your argument in detail. You will use one of your three reasons in each body paragraph. Restate the reason as the first sentence of each paragraph and then write three sentences to support each argument. The last sentence should transition your readers to the next paragraph.

Body Paragraph #1

Body Paragraph #2

Body Paragraph #3

Conclusion Restate your argument and include your strongest reasons. Try to include some persuasive language!!

How I Think Im Doing So Far


Not Yet

Starting To


Introduction My essay begins with an attention grabber. I describe the issue/situation without stating my opinion. I stated my claim/opinion. Three Body Paragraphs I separated my main arguments into three paragraphs. Each argument is supported with at least three details/pieces of evidence. Each paragraph is at least five sentences long. I saved my strongest argument for last and put it in my 3rd body paragraph. Conclusion I restated my claim/opinion. I summarized my strongest arguments that support my claim/opinion. I finished my essay with a call to action or concluding statement to help convince my reader.

Essay Progress Report


Not Yet

Starting To


Introduction Your essay begins with an attention grabber. You describe the issue/situation without stating your opinion. You stated your claim/opinion. Three Body Paragraphs You separated your main arguments into three paragraphs. Each argument is supported with at least three details/pieces of evidence. Each paragraph is at least five sentences long. You saved your strongest argument for last and put it in your 3rd body paragraph. Conclusion You restated your claim/opinion. You summarized your strongest arguments that support your claim/opinion. You finished your essay with a call to action or concluding statement to help convince your reader.


Name: ________________________

Persuasive Essay Writing Checklist

Not Yet Structure Overall Introduction I made a claim about a topic or a text and tried to support my reasons using evidence and examples. I wrote a few sentences to hook my readers (attention grabber!) by asking a question, explaining why the topic mattered, telling a surprising fact, or giving background information. I stated my claim/opinion. Transitions I used words and phrases to glue parts of my essay together. I used phrases such as for example, another example, one time, and for instance to show when I was shifting from saying reasons to giving evidence and in addition to, also, and another to show when I wanted to make a new point. Conclusion I wrote a conclusion for my essay in which I restated and reflected on my claim/opinion, perhaps suggesting an action or response based on what I had written. I separated sections of information using paragraphs Development Elaboration I gave three reasons to support my opinion. I chose the reasons to convince my readers I included examples and information to support my reasons, perhaps from a text, my knowledge, or my own life. Craft I chose specific words to convince my readers, Starting To Yes!


perhaps by emphasizing or repeating words that would make my readers feel emotions.

If it felt right to do so, I chose precise details and facts to help make my points and used figurative language to help the readers see my point of view. I made choices about which evidence and details were best to include or not include to help support my main points. I used a convincing tone in my writing. Language Conventions Spelling I used what I know about word families and spelling rules to help me spell and edit. I used dictionaries to help me when needed. When writing long complex sentences, I used commas to make them clear and correct. I used periods to fix my run-on sentences.


Persuasive Essay Rubric

This unit introduced students to writing persuasive essays. They were shown a video from their principal suggesting that we make school uniforms mandatory. Students then took a position on this topic and used an OREO organizer to plan out their essay structure. They then progressed through the writing process to develop their essays.
Checklist Points

Pre-writing (5 points): Ideas, Lists, Topics, Events Drafting (5 points): Putting ideas down on paper Rough copy including a main idea or ideas from pre-writing Revising (5 points): Peer comments and suggestions Changes made to first draft Working with a writing partner Editing (5 points): Self-editing project Peer-editing project Making changes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation in project Final Copy (5 points): Revised and edited Completely finished with project Sharing (5 points): Reading project to peers Giving feedback on peers projects Argument (5 points) Student states their position through an argument statement Supporting Reasons (15 points) Three main reasons are stated to support argument Introduction and Conclusion (10 points) Essay opens with an introduction Essay ends with a concluding paragraph

Working independently and productively (5 points):

Using peer and teacher suggestions to help improve writing (5 points):

Providing peers with helpful suggestions and feedback (5 points):

Additional comments:

75 points

Name: _____________________________________

Date: ____________________

Persuasive Essay Self Assessment

Overall, I think my persuasive essay is

Great Good Okay Poor

I feel that way about my essay because __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ Rate yourself by coloring in the stars. 1 star = Poor, 2 stars = Average, 3 stars = Good, 4 stars = Excellent Effort put into project

Creativity of project

My ability to work with a writing partner

Something I really like about my persuasive essay is __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ A goal that I have for my future writing is __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________