Lesson plan

Supporting Details

Your students will try their best to convince their school principal that they need more recess during this letter writing lesson.
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Students will be able to use supporting details in a persuasive letter.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to imagine the most amazing indoor playground that they can.
  • Invite students to share what they think would make the playground amazing. Encourage them to include as many details as possible.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are going to try to persuade the principal to turn the gym into an indoor playground.
  • Explain that persuade means to convince. Tell them that in order to persuade someone of something, you need to use supporting details.
  • A supporting detail is a detail that helps explain why someone should listen to you.
(5 minutes)
  • Use a large piece of chart paper and begin to write a letter to the principal. Start with something like, “Dear Principal, We would like you to consider adding an indoor playground to the gym. Here is why we think this is a good idea...”
  • Pass out index cards to each student and encourage them to think of a reason why the principal should listen to them. Ask them to draw a picture and/or write words using as much detail as possible.
  • Ask students to share out their supporting details with the class, and add several of the reasons to the letter.
  • Tell your students that now they will get a chance to write a letter to their parents to convince them of something.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask the class to think of something they would like to convince their parents to get or do (e.g. get a pet, go on a trip, stay up later, etc.).
  • Pass out the Write a Persuasive Letter worksheet to each student and send them to work independently after they tell you what they are going to write about.
  • Circulate around the classroom work with individual students as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are going to try to persuade the principal to turn the gym into an indoor playground.

Enrichment: Have more advanced students write a second persuasive letter to you, their parents, or another person in their life.

Support: Provide struggling students with index cards to write or draw out their supporting details.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to pair up with a partner and pretend to be one another’s parents. Have students read their letter to their partner.
  • Collect the finished letters. Use these to assess whether students were able to include supporting details.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask a few students to share their letter with the whole class. Ask the other students in the class if they were convinced. Encourage them to share why/why not.
  • Review as needed.

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