|Posted by meaningmatters on March 31, 2012 at 9:40 PM|
Written By Kim Turgeon-
One of my favorite things about technology is having the ability to easily access information about what that other professionals are implementing in their classrooms.
After reading the Two Writing Teachers post about Opinion Writing in Kindergarten http/twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/opinion-writing-in-kindergarten/
I decided to try a similar focus lesson in my Kindergarten.
My Mini Lesson
“Have you ever loved something so much that you wanted all of your friends to try it?” I began my mini lesson with this question and all hands went up, as 22 kindergarteners wanted to tell us about their favorite things.
“I love pizza, but the kind I really love is from this place in Maryland…”
“Once I went to Disney world and they have this ride called the Tower of Terror, it drops so fast that you can’t scream, you don’t have time!”
Clearly they had strong opinions and finding topics was not going to be a problem! But I had never asked kindergarten children to go beyond their own opinions and think about how they can persuade their audience.
So I continued, “have you ever thought about commercials and what their job is ? They not only have to tell you about the fabulous toys, food and places, but they have to tell you WHY you should buy them or go there.”
The first child’s hand goes up “ You mean like when McDonalds tells you to go there because you can get a toy!”
“Today when you write, I want you to tell about one of your favorite things and try to include details that will convince me that it is the best.”
Like Ruth (from Two Writing Teachers) I too was amazed. Many of my writers were able to move beyond stating their opinion, to supporting their opinions.
Okemo is the best because you can ski and get hot chocolate.
Baseball is the best sport. You should play because you can make money if you are good.
Sushi- Get it free. Different types. Get it now while it lasts. It is good for you!
Pekachoo. It is the best thing in the world. Buy it for 10 dollars. it is the best, It is a stuffee (stuffed animal) and it comes with a poke ball.
Hockey is the best sport. You can score goals and you can win a trophy.
Children were clearly able to write about their favorite things as well as think about the reasons it might be appealing to others. As I think about it now, I have laid the foundation for this writing through mentor texts that we had read during interactive read alouds. Also, the signs children have made in the classroom were a form of persuasive writing. For example, the signs children made convincing others to enter our haunted house (see previous blog: http://www.meaning-matters.org/apps/blog/show/10879131-setting-the-stage-for-real-writing-through-dramatic-play.)
My Favorite Mentor Texts
In thinking about why people write persuasive essays, I think I need to find a meaningful reason for my students to persuade their audience. Is there writing that my students can do that will make a positive change or have a positive impact on our class or school? Can I help children see the power of their writing?