Show students how the writer is using words to influence and inform the reader.
What craft is the writer using to achieve this?
What do you notice about the writer’s voice?
What words are the most powerful?
What is the writer’s point of view here?
AVOID immediately descending into a pale imitation of a persuasive essay. The need here is to focus on the reasons for writing, rather than being mesmerized by the form.
HELPING STUDENT WRITERS EXPLORE ISSUESWhat matters to you enough to want to write about it, or explore it in your writing?
What frustrates or annoys you?
What is something you feel strongly enough about to write it down
How do other authors present such issues and could you do something similar?
Issues and they way they affect people and communities
Ways to bring about a change, or improvement
How they would support a cause or deal with an issue in their writing.Encourage students to talk about an issue with a partner as if they were talking to a reader.
Some of the words, phrases etc that the mentor authors are using to influence the reader.
Issues that matter to your students
When young writers initially write persuasively they do little research.
Opinions have little or no justification.
Vague generalizations are made.
Result? -The reader remains to be convinced.
Is this our starting point?
‘If we want our students to be effective persuaders in their writing we need to engage them in many learning experiences that will strengthen their understanding of persuasive texts and what writers do to effectively persuade others.’
Source: ‘Is That A Fact Teaching non fiction Writing K-3’, Tony Stead
OUR PLANNING NEEDS TO FOCUS ON BUILDING:
Writing stamina Reading
The ISSUE of Increasing Student Stamina for
and Writing Reading
How long do my students engage in independent reading and writing
How do I progressively increase time on task?
Vocabulary/World Knowledge/Text Knowledge
Use vocabulary interchangeably, and explicitly
View documentary DVDs on multiple topics
Provide good quality non fiction texts for independent reading
Deconstruct texts to examine their features and structure
In What Ways Do Writers Influence Us?
•By warning us through their writing (fiction and non fiction)
•By telling a story that brings the issue to our attention
•By telling a story that has a message
•By providing examples
•By describing details
•By begging us to change
•By writing letters –public and personal
•By writing about something worth preserving or protecting
•By describing a scene to highlight a problem
•By writing poetry
•By writing about how to treat people, places, objects, treasures
•By inspiring us to try new things
•By inspiring us to be brave or resolute
•By describing the benefits to be gained by a particular action/actions
•By repeating words, or a group of words (word patterns) to add emphasis
•By writing a story with a moral
•By employing humour to diffuse an issue
•By asking questions
Writers ‘prod’ us to think more deeply about an issue.
The Issue of Cohesion in Student Writing(*I am grateful to Jeff Anderson for highlighting this issue in his book, Ten Things Every Writer Needs To Know)
Cohesion is the GLUE that holds the words together. It assists the writer to create smooth joins between sentences.
Cohesion assists the reader to navigate their way through a sea of words
Making Cohesion Work for Student Writers
•Teach them about transitional words and phrases
•Teach them to summarize with transitions
•Teach them the old to new strategy
•Teach them that pronouns need an antecedent
•Teach them to repeat key words and phrases
•Teach them to be consistent with tenses, point of view and mood
•Teach them to cull irrelevant text
•Teach them to use punctuation and grammar with deliberate intent.
Overcoming Connectivity Problems
Transitional words and phrases help connect ideas. They emphasize details, reveal organization, illuminate comparisons and contrasts
Auto Transitions are familiar to young writers. They overuse them!
Firstly, secondly, thirdly, fourthly fifthly and, in conclusion!
Our students need to actively PROCESS, NOTICE and EXPERIENCE how other authors use transitions in REAL texts.
Students need to understand the function of various transitions.This must happen BEFORE they are ever provided with a LIST!
Ways to sum it up:
•In conclusion ….
•Given the above points…..
•To summarise ……
•There are many reasons…
•Consequently it seems better to…
•The weight of evidence would suggest…
•This, in summary …
•It can seem that…
•On balance ….
•It would seem that…
•The facts are compelling for one to think that…
Modelling- Teachers Need to Model For Students
How to organize information
How to include persuasive language
How to use connectives to link information
How to use text features (photographs, labels, charts) to help the readerHow to connect concluding statements to introduction
Use of facts and opinions to support stance taken.
Use of connectives –therefore, as a result, because etc.
Use of hyperbole, emotive terms, repetition
Encourage Student Reflection:What’s the point?- Persuasive texts are designed to persuade people
or to convince people of a point of view. Good persuasive texts
tantalise the reader. Does yours do this?
Have you got a plan?- These texts are usually well planned and thought out, Is yours?
Where to start?- Is your introduction boring, do you think the reader/listener will continue to be interested…
Have you drawn the audience in by making a bold statement.
Have you addressed the main issue and stated your position.
Connect with the reader- Have you used connectives that explain your view like: however, therefore, because, although, yet, in addition to.
Traditionally teachers used tests as tools. We must be careful NOT to become tools of the test!
'Writing is the largest orchestra a child’s mind has to conduct…
Writing assists students to practice being organized and effective. Writing is a platform for thinking and problem solving. Students who work with teachers who demand minimal writing are educationally deprived. They may be less prepared to produce when they attain adult hood.'
The Myth of Laziness, Mel Levine
We can justify a vigorous campaign enabling students to write easily, and confidently.