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Grade 4: The Art of Persuasive Writing

In a recent ongoing unit, students in Grade 4 have been mastering the art of persuasive writing. According to Grade 4 teacher Ms. Jessica Williams, "We expect Grade 4 students to be able to write for a variety of purposes. The persuasive essay unit allows them to practice writing for a specific purpose. For this unit, we brainstorm, outline, draft, edit, revise, and publish. Each step involves students building their ability to organize their thoughts and structure their writing in a way that will be impactful to the reader. By the end of the unit, students will have successfully written a five-paragraph essay that includes an introduction with a thesis statement, thoughtful supporting evidence paragraphs, and a closing. As they write their paragraphs, they are learning to reach their audience through a variety of writing strategies. Using mini-stories and parallel lists are two techniques they used to make their evidence more impactful.”
Grade 4 student Cooper P. made sure to follow this advice when writing his persuasive essay on "Why Nike Is the Best Brand." "In my essay, I included three pieces of evidence and a mini-story. I made sure to do this so I could explain why I love Nike and how I know they are the best brand,” Cooper said. 

As part of the assignment, the Grade 4 students were able to choose any topic they wanted for their persuasive essay. This was the best part of the activity for Grade 4 student Faris M. "I liked that I got to choose the topic for my essay because when you get to choose what you want to write about, it makes it more fun and interesting,” Faris said. 

When it came to picking a subject for their persuasive essays, the Grade 4 students did not waste any time selecting creative topics to write about. Several of the subjects included "Why Students Should Be Allowed to Pick Their Own Schedules," "Why More Homeless Shelters Are Needed in Denver," "Why Elephants Should Be Protected," "Why Japan Is the Best Place to Visit," and more! 

For Ms. Williams, seeing her students' passions come alive through their writing is the best part of the persuasive writing unit. "This lesson brings out so many passions in the students. We get to see what matters to them and they get to really think about what they can do about it," Ms. Williams said. "Fourth graders have a lot of strong opinions! Being able to thoughtfully back up their thinking with persuasive evidence is an important skill to learn. This unit teaches them to approach their listener in an organized and thoughtful manner. After all, if you want to convince someone to change their thinking, you better have a good argument planned!"
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.