Sunday, January 30, 2011

Writing Workshop-Persuasive Letters

An important component of the literacy block is the writing workshop (also known as the writer's workshop).  Justus and his grade team have been working on persuasive letter writing for their teaching learning critical pathway.  In the initial task, he noticed that his class needed more direct instruction on the purpose of this form of writing to clarify the misconceptions and help them strengthen their arguments.

With a SMART Board in his classroom, he created a PowerPoint presentation to provide feedback and reflection from their first writing task.  He reviewed the form, looking closely at the purpose, audience and problem posed in the letter, asking students to think about what proposed solution they would offer.  He scaffolded his lesson and shared his expectations with the students for them to think about what arguments they can make to support their stance.  He has threaded in an example of a letter to review conventions and text features of a letter.  

From this lesson, students are crafting their own persuasive letter around an issue.

In addition to the lesson discussing the elements and form of writing, Justus uses success criteria with his students so that the expectations are clear and concise for them.  Seeing as this is a part of their pathway, the criteria was brainstormed and created with his grade team so that there is consistency from class to class.  

For more information about Success Criteria (and Learning Goals) click on the following link: Learning Goals and Success Criteria

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