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Because I Said So! - Writing a Persuasive Speech

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Keywords: Writing, persuasive, speech, podcast,
Subject(s): Writing
Grade 4
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Booker T Washington Mont Sch, Lexington, KY
Planned By: Jeremy Lockard
Original Author: Jeremy Lockard, Lexington
-The lesson will begin by explaining to students that their next writing piece will be creating persuasive podcasts.
-Ask the students when have you heard the word persuasive? Allow them time to share.
(Students should say things like: (strong opinion, strongly stated, good arguments, well thought out, convincing ideas).
-Ask them if they can think of times they have persuaded someone for something (parents for something they wanted to buy, have a friend over, teacher to let them do something, etc)
Explain to students that when you are persuading someone you are trying to convince them to think the way you do.
-Today we are going to explore our thoughts, what we believe in and what we donít.
Say a statement and have students move to which side of the room to show whether they agree or disagree.
School is fun.
Money buys you happiness.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the best book ever.
College is necessary.
Homework is important

-Explain to students that today they will brainstorm topics that they want to sell to their audience.
-Revisit the character traits of persuasive writing by watching the brain pop video.
-As a class begin brainstorming topics which students hold strong opinions on. Allow students time to write down their top three topics.
-Once students decide on a topic they will begin researching researching their topic and completing a graphic organizer.
-They will include their topic, opinion, why they chose it. They will also include facts about their topic and reasons why it is important.
-If students think they are finished early allow them to use the link below and plug in their information to the organizer. This will help them see that they may not have enough information yet on their topic.
students are finished typing in the organizer they can print it from that screen.

-Once the studetns have completed the research for their topic I would ask them to think of a way to personally connect it to their lives. Students should understand that they want to try and connect with the audience by sharing something that ties them to it personally.
When students are complete they may use the aforementioned link to type their information for their persuasive speech. This allows them to see if they really have enough facts and not just opinions in their piece.
-After students have decided their opinions about their topics, make sure they have 3 good reasons to support their topic. They donít have to have all of their research finished but the rest of the week and the rest of research will be easier if they have decided on their 3 supporting details.
It is very important that you conference with each student today to know what their topic is so you can find research for them later in the week.

-Model for students using a graphic organizer and choose your own topic. Think aloud about 3 different reasons to support your opinion and fill them out on your organizer for students to see. (you need to do this because tomorrow you will show them how you find research based on what theyíve chosen)
-Show students your graphic organizer again with your three reasons. Next, take them to a website that you have already found information to support your reason and think aloud how you determine this information can help your speech.
-Pass out the print version of the website to the students and have them highlight along with you in the color that matches that supporting reason (pink for example). Next move to another reason and walk through finding supporting information for another reason and highlight it in another color (blue for example). This should help students see how they can organize their information in an easier way.
Allow students the opportunity to help you find information that you havenít already highlighted to support a reason.
Let them know that tomorrow they will be doing this for their own persuasive speech.

-You must have information printed for them for this day to work! Each student should get two print outs for their research to highlight.
-Review with students what you highlighted the day before and how you filled in your graphic organizer with the information.
-Give each student two print outs for research to go with their topic and have them begin to highlight in three different colors. Circulate around the room to help students identify facts that go along with their reasons. Make sure they are using three different colors, one for each reason. This will help them see quickly what they need more information about as well as help you see where that they are supporting all three details.

-Have students recall what a hook is and give examples of a good hook.Tell students that today they are going to be creating their own hooks for their opinion pieces.
-Remind them that their introduction paragraph needs to be a complete paragraph (5 sentences) and needs to hook the reader. This will take time for the students to come up with something creative.
-While they are working begin conferencing with each student about their hook and help them see that it may not grab the readerís attention.

Review with students what it takes to make a complete paragraph. Make sure students recall that a good paragraph should contain at least 5 sentences beginning with a topic sentence, 3 supporting detail sentences and a conclusion sentence.
-Show students a writing prompt and model using the hamburger graphic organizer to construct your paragraph. Make sure students understand your thinking and how you did it (think aloud). Now have students work on their first reason to support their opinion using the hamburger graphic organizer. They should be able to complete at least one paragraph.
-The students will work for the next few days to complete the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs of their speech (reasons 1,2, and 3 to support their introductory opinion paragraph).

-The students will write a concluding paragraph that includes a restatement of their opinion/topic, a summary of their 3 reasons, and a final call to action/conclusion. You should continue to conference with students during this time to guide them all through the editing and completion of their pieces. Make sure they have the proper structure and good facts/opinions to support thier reasoning.

When they finish use a flip camera and record their podcast. Model the recording of your own persuasive speech to show the students proper speaking (slow and steady pace, enunciation, clear speaking, etc.) The you will model how to upload the file to the school's website. After recording, the students can upload the finished product under their name on the school website. Students will be responsible for recording and uploading their own files to the website.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson plan could be modified to incorporate almost any subject. Students could write and record persuasive speeches for both sides of a debate (science, social studies, ethics, philosophy, etc.), campaign speeches for civics, and various other applications. If done for a debate or campaign, the entire school could view the videos and cast votes to decide a winner.
Pertinent persuasive speeches (more recess time, longer lunch, etc.) will be sent to the appropriate authorities (for example: the principal or the superintendant) for viewing and response.
Materials: Flip Video, Podcasting