Need a promotion? Then have your students participate in a writing lesson that will have them voting for you! Give students the opportunity to place teachers in the spotlight, as they persuade others why teachers make the best presidents.
Students will be able to introduce a topic by stating an opinion and create an organizational structure to provide reasons that support their opinion. Students will utilize linking words to connect their opinions and reasons, and provide a concluding statement.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Ask your students if they could pick the President of the United States, who would they choose and why?
- After hearing a few student responses, show the front cover of My Teacher for President and read the story aloud.
- Tell students that for today’s lesson, they will write a persuasive paragraph explaining reasons why teachers would make good presidents.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (20 minutes)
- Start making an outline of a persuasive paragraph about the benefits of having a teacher as president. You can use a specific former teacher or colleague, or just use general traits of teachers.
- Tell students that to begin your writing piece, you need to capture the reader’s attention. Ask students what they think you could do to achieve this. Examples: A strong topic sentence, a lead in, a sentence that will “hook” the reader.
- Write a model topic sentence in green and share that green signals the start of the writing piece.
- Tell the class that in order to support the topic sentence, three supporting details are needed. Inform students that you will be writing the details in blue to separate it from the topic sentence.
- Begin by writing a supporting detail and example underneath the topic sentence for students. Be sure to include a transition word or phrase.
- Point to the transition word or phrase within the sentence. Explain the importance of including transition words. Example: transition words help written work read more smoothly from one idea to the next.
- Point out examples that directly follow each detail sentence. Tell students the examples provide further information for the reader.
- Model an additional detail sentence and example to students.
- Once your three supporting details are written, switch to a red marker. Tell students the red marker shows that you are concluding or ending your writing piece.
- Model and explain how rewriting the topic sentence produces a concluding sentence.
- Ask students if they hear any similarities between the topic and concluding sentences. Explain that both sentences are designed to remind the reader of the point you, the writer, are ultimately trying to make.
- Upon completion, read aloud your written paragraph while pointing at each word. Identify and label each section of the paragraph: topic, detail, and concluding sentences.
- Explain that the details are the largest part of the writing piece, and this information is used to persuade readers.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Hand out the My Teacher for President organizer.
- Tell students that they will complete the organizer and then write a persuasive paragraph on why teachers should become president.
- Students will identify the topic sentence box and outline it in a green crayon. Ask students to begin writing a topic sentence. Ask a student volunteer to share their topic sentence aloud with the class.
- Next, students will outline the next three boxes in blue. Explain these are for their supporting details.
- Remind students to begin each new thought with a transition word or phrase.
- As a class, brainstorm a list of transition words on chart paper or the board.
- Remind students that an example must follow each of their detail sentences. Refer back to the teacher example if necessary.
- Referring to the last box on the organizer, ask the class what the purpose is of a concluding sentence. Example answer: it restates the topic or it restates the main idea of the paragraph.
- Students will outline this box in red and generate a concluding sentence. Refer back to the teacher example if necessary.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Allow students to work independently on their organizers.
- Monitor student work and provide support when needed.
- Remind students to include transition words for each new thought.
- Encourage the use of a dictionary and a thesaurus.
- Remind students to write clear details and examples to persuade others to agree with them.
- Display teacher example as a reference.
- Students will rewrite their sentences on a sheet of lined paper as a persuasive paragraph.
- Enrichment: To challenge students in writing, ask them to identify overused words, and use a thesaurus to replace them with a synonym. Encourage the use of transitional phrases instead of simple one word transitions.
- Support: For students who need support, provide sentence starters to assist in writing. If necessary, reduce the assignment to state two reasons instead of three, and simplify the use of transition words.
Assessment (5 minutes)
- To check for student understanding, monitor the classroom as students are working.
- Call on student volunteers to share their organizers with the class.
- Collect the persuasive writing paragraphs at the end of the lesson.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Ask for student volunteers to share their paragraphs.
- Encourage peer feedback and questions.
- Assign the If I Were President worksheet as a writing assignment for homework or classwork.