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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Opinion and Persuasive Paragraphs (Greek Myth Style!)

Excitement about Greek mythology was at an all-time high as we sadly ended our unit. It was time to move into comparing and contrasting folklore and writing persuasive essays. "I wish I could bottle their enthusiasm," I sighed. Then it hit me! We could segue into opinion writing with paragraphs about characters in Greek mythology!

Our first discussion centered around persuasive techniques from another famous Greek fellow, Aristotle.

Then I introduced a simple organizer used for argumentative writing.

Modeling was my next step. (Note: This step is essential to exemplary student writing. Don't skip it!) I used the organizer to plan a basic paragraph then set to work with some strategies that really strengthened my writing.

Students planned opinion pieces to explain the character from Greek mythology they would choose to invite to dinner. The next day, I introduced the differences between opinion and persuasive writing (first person focus versus third person focus; call to action in persuasive), and they planned persuasive pieces on which character to elect as president.

After that, they were allowed to choose which piece to finalize. Just look at some of these paragraphs! I'm so proud of them!

One of my colleagues wanted to try this with characters from stories her students had read this year. She inspired Opinion and Persuasive Paragraphs Featuring Characters from Literature. Thanks, Gretchen!