Persuasive Writing: a pre-writing activity
Often when we announce that we are assigning an essay we get some groans and eye rolls. I try to circumvent that with some persuasive writing activities that get my students excited (or at least somewhat interested) in the art of persuasion.
Before we begin any activity, I like to prime the pump with an activity that gets students interested in what comes next. So because we were about to begin persuasive essays, I printed off a pile of cards that instructed students to persuade a partner of something.
I grouped my students and gave each group a stack of persuasion cards. Then, every student in the group chose one and had a minute to brainstorm the points to use to attempt convince their partner to do the thing on their chosen card.
This was one of those activities that I thought of in the shower. You know the ones. You have a completely different plan and then some aqua-inspired idea descends on you, and you completely switch it up. They are usually some of the best ideas, and this was one of them. My students were very engaged in the activity, and at the end of the class, I heard “that was fun” several times.
Warmed my teacher heart.
Not only was the activity deemed fun, but it also got my students ready to start thinking about a topic for their persuasive essay. We spent some time brainstorming and free-writing to get them exploring ideas, and because of the activity that preceded this, they were much more engaged in coming up with topics than they ever were before.
If you’d like to grab this persuasive pre-writing activity, you can do so here. And, if you’d like inspiration for more engaging writing activities, read this.