Stage 1- Desired Results
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
  1. Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts, and writing and speaking about them.
  2. Build a strong base of knowledge through content rich texts.
  3. Obtain, synthesize, and report findings clearly and effectively in response to task and purpose.
  4. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  5. Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence.
  6. Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  7. Come to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading, listening, and collaborations.
  • W.1.1-Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.8-With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.1.6-With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • L.1.1-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.1.2-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • RL.1.1-Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • RL.1.2-Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Essential Questions

  • How can persuasive writing be crafted so it motivates and influences a reaction from its audience?

  • What are the techniques of persuasive writing?
  • How can a writer effectively hook their audience?
  • How will a writer close their argument?
Big Ideas
Our Opinions

Enduring Understandings
  • Writers write to tell their opinions and try to persuade others.
  • There is a craft to writing effectively.

  • Authors use specific strategies to persuade readers.
  • I can study the work of authors to help learn the craft of writing.
Students will know…
  • What it means to persuade your reader.
  • About different purposes for writing letters, including a thank you letter, a friendly letter, and a persuasive letter
  • How to provide reasons to support opinion
  • How to write a concluding sentence
  • How to organize a letter, using the date, salutation, body, closing, and signature
  • How to use capitalization and punctuation in letter writing
Students will be skilled at …
  • Writing a letter that includes: date, salutation, body, closing and signature.
  • Writing a thank you, friendly, and persuasive letter.
  • Stating their opinions in a persuasive letter.
  • Writing letters using commas in the dates.
  • Writing letters using the correct ending punctuation.
  • Capitalizing the first word of each sentence, the pronoun “I,” proper nouns (people’s names, days, months) and titles (Mr., Mrs. etc.).
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks: Students revise and edit one opinion letter.

Formative: Students write letters using the essential components of a letter. Students include the elements of opinion writing in their opinion letter. Conference with students to support their application of the skills and strategies taught in the mini-lessons.

Summative: Students complete editing checklist on their writing. Final piece of writing serves as summative.

Student Self-Assessment: At the end of the unit, students will write a reflection piece on what they have learned about opinion writing. See suggestions for self-assessment at the end of units.
Stage 3- Learning Plan
This unit teaches the structures and conventions of letter writing. It also revisits the concept of opinion writing by guiding students through the process of writing a persuasive letter.

With guidance and support from adults, teachers may wish to have students email letters as a publishing option. This meets CCSS W.1.6, “With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Lesson 1: Building Prior Knowledge

Lesson 2: Model Thank You Letter

Lesson 3: Letter Format

Lesson 4: Letter Writing Words

Lesson 5a: Capitalization

Lesson 5b: Commas

Lesson 6: Friendly Letter

Lesson 7: Identifying Topics for Persuasive Letters

Lesson 8a: Persuasive Letter Graphic Organizer: Who and What

Lesson 8b: Persuasive Letter Graphic Organizer: Reasons

Lesson 8c: Persuasive Letter Graphic Organizer: Closure

Lesson 9a: Drafting a Persuasive Letter

Lesson 10: Proofreading/Using a Checklist

*Add a celebration after students have completed Editing.

Full Lessons:
To incorporate the Common Core State Standard 1.W.6, to "use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing," you may choose to:
  • Take digital photographs of shared experiences.
  • Create a PowerPoint of writing with voice recordings.
  • Use story-making applications from iPads or other tablets.
  • Type final projects-use WORD publishing forms such as postcards and brochures.
  • Share writing over school announcement system.
  • Have students project the written pieces using a document camera.

Mentor Texts
Reading aloud to the class some of these books prior to teaching the lessons is highly recommended.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie
Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James Dear Juno by Soyung Pak

Can I Have a Stegosaurus? Can I Please? By Lois G. Grambling Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
Earrings by Judith Viorst

Persuasive LetterWriting-
Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
I Wanna Iguana or I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague

Sample Student Work: