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.3.1-Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • W.3.4-With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
  • W.3.5-With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.3.10-Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • L.3.2-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.3.3-Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
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

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.
  • The format of a persuasive essay (hook, thesis, body, support, closing/call to action)
  • What it means to critique others and self-critique.
  • How grammar and conventions can affect meaning and understanding in a piece of writing.
  • Why and how to use the writing process to produce effective writing.
  • How to write a multi-paragraph essay using details from text
  • How to introduce character and text they are writing about,state an opinion,and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
Students will be skilled at …

  • Critiquing their own writing and the writing of their peers.
  • Clearly stating opinion in the introduction
  • Writing opinion pieces based on text
  • Supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • Using linking words and phrases to connect opinion and reasons.
  • Providing a concluding statement.
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks: Students revise and edit one opinion character analysis.

Formative: Students will write several seeds of opinion character analysis in their writer’s notebooks. Conference with students to support their application of the skills and strategies taught in the mini-lessons.

Summative: Students complete revising and editing checklist on their writing.

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
Many of us have met ‘best friends’ in the pages of a book. Understanding character is the very heart of what readers must do when they read fiction. In fact, “characterization” is often cited as one of the most powerful literary elements. A character’s beliefs, feelings and thoughts are “the glue that holds the story together.”*

The prewriting lessons in this unit go beyond definitions of character and a listing of the character traits. The goal of these beginning lessons is to help students learn how to evaluate characters in their reading and writing. We recommend that this preparation for writing the literary analysis should be a part of reading instruction throughout the school year. For that reason, we encourage teachers to read the prewriting lessons, charts and resources and begin implementing these reading strategies early in the year. It will be a lot easier for students to learn how to write an essay about a character if they are already used to studying character in the books they read.

In the prewriting lessons students are taught that readers determine what characters are like by what they say or do. They develop trait vocabulary in several ways. Students practice identifying traits of a character in the poem, ‘Harvey’ by Judith Viorst. Several short writes provide an opportunity to think about the traits of both story and real life characters.

The teacher models in this unit use three character traits and evidence to support each one. Each trait makes up a distinct body paragraph, so the complete essay is five paragraphs long. You may wish to differentiate. Less proficient writers could write about one trait with two to three pieces of evidence to support the trait. More proficient writers could add more evidence and write longer paragraphs.

Learning occurs by adding the new to the old. The lessons continue to spiral and build upon the instructional routines and craft lessons taught in previous units. Anchor charts reinforce lessons and highlight student writing. Teachers continue to demonstrate thinking aloud, model their writing, and offer shared writing experiences. A writing sample is provided in these lessons, but you are encouraged to create your own writing.

Finally, the Revising and Editing Checklists have grown in scope from the beginning of the year. This tool keeps writers focused on what they have learned. It is always the teacher’s option to adapt the checklist to their students’needs.

Celebration at the end of the publishing process is an important way to let students know we value their writing. It is something to look forward to and can motivate students to do their best work while publishing. Celebrations can be as simple as sharing writing with a partner or as elaborate as an author’s tea with parents. Itis entirely up to you. Try different ways to celebrate at the end of each unit and have
a marvelous time with your students as you write together through the year.

Notes: We recommend that throughout the school year you and your students evaluate character traits when reading. Practicing this skill will make it easier for students to learn how to write an opinion essay about a character.

Most students will write a few paragraphs describing the traits represented in a single character of their choice. Advanced writers can be encouraged to describe multiple traits for a character. Advanced writers can also include examples of a single trait that are found in a variety of characters form a variety of stories.Less proficient writers can use the class or group examples as the evidence in their own essays, rather than spend the time and effort in collecting evidence in dependently. Their effort can go into the writing. Enjoy this final unit of study. Don’t forget to save writing samples!

Lesson #1: Character Traits: A Lasting Impression
Lesson #2: What A Character! Brainstorming Unforgettable Characters
Lesson #3: Inferring:How do we identify a character’s trait?
Lesson #4: Planning the Essay: Finding Evidence in Text
Lesson #5A: Let’s Get Organized!
Lesson #5B: Reviewing Leads
Lesson #6: Drafting the Introduction: Opinion Statements
Lesson #7: Drafting the Body Paragraphs: Part 1: Ready, Set, Go!
Lesson #8: Drafting Body Paragraphs: Linking Words & Phrases
Lesson #9: The Essay Conclusion
Lesson #10: Revision: An Important Description? Try a Simile!
Lesson #11: Revision: A Final Check
Lesson #12: Editing: Pronouns, Let’s Be Clear
Lesson #13: Editing: Capitalize and Underline Titles
Lesson #14: Reflection
Lesson #15: Reading Aloud your Writing

Full Lessons:
To incorporate the Common Core State Standard 3.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.