Lesson plan

Linking the Logic

Are your students’ persuasive essays seamless and connected? In this persuasive writing lesson, students will learn how to write for a specific audience, linking opinions with reasons. Transition words are the missing links!
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Students will make connections between opinions and reasons. Students will organize persuasive essays for a specific audience.

(5 minutes)
  • Divide students into groups of three or four.
  • Distribute one set of What’s the Logic? game cards per group of students.
  • Have the students match the positions with the reasons.
  • After you’ve given students five minutes to play the game, tell the students that they will be working on refining their persuasive writing -- specifically, using reasons to support their argument and linking these reasons to specific examples.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that it is important to provide “links” between ideas in their writing. Refer to supporting a broad opinion with specific reasons and elaboration.
  • On a whiteboard, provide an example of an audience and a writing position.
    • For example, you could tell the students that they are going to write to a principal about a certain request such as extended recess time.
  • Direct students’ attention to a word bank of transition words. You could generate a list as a class, or use the one suggested in this lesson.
    • Suggested words: Additionally, accordingly, although, as a result, consequently, due to, for example, for instance, furthermore, in addition to, on the other hand, similarly, and therefore.
  • Model the process of writing a reason that connects to the stated opinion. If desired, you can use the following as a model text: “It is important to have extended recess at our school. The first reason why we should have extended recess is because it gives us more exercise. Since we live in the city, most students stay inside after school. If we are given extended recess it will provide time for us the time to get that exercise. Consequently, we will be healthier students. If we get extra exercise, it will also be easier to focus during the school day.
(10 minutes)
  • Use either a topic of choice or the extended recess idea, provided above.
  • Remind students that they should think about how to link an idea or reasoning using transition words from the word bank in their writing.
  • Tell the students that they are going to do an activity called Pass the Paper. Students will work in a group of three or four students. One student will start and write a reason on the top of the paper. When time is called, the paper will be passed to the next person, who will add to what was written, linking specific reasons to the specified opinion.
(25 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they are going to plan their own persuasive piece of writing by collecting and organizing their ideas and reasons.
  • Distribute the Branching Out worksheet.
  • Ask students to choose the topic and audience for their writing from a list of sample topics and audiences.
  • Following completion of the graphic organizer, ask students to use their plans to begin constructing corresponding paragraphs.


  • Have students write about the same topic using a different opinion.


  • For English language learners, provide pictures (or allow students to search for pictures) that could be used in developing a persuasive essay.
  • Provide samples of reasons, filled in prior to distribution of worksheet.
  • Using Google Docs, create a table that has space for students to share their writing. Have each student type their response in a different cell of the table. Then, invite students to compare and contrast their persuasive writing.
(15 minutes)
  • Display a product exemplar, such as the sample used in teacher modeling.
  • Put up an example and ask students to identify one reason with its related example and two transition words. Have the students write them on an exit slip. Spot check students’ work.
  • Have students turn and talk to their neighbor about important things to remember when writing a persuasive essay and connecting the facts. Why are connections between opinions and reasons important? Why is it important to consider the audience when writing?
(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to share their writing with the class. Celebrate achievements. Invite students to compliment and make suggestions about the writing, especially how students linked reasons and examples and used transition words.

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