Chapter 5: Persuasion at it's finest!
Students must develop the fine art of rational argument for many curricular areas and not just literary analysis. I'm thinking of social studies, of course, but even math arguments follow the basic logic. Science has plenty of societal issues that can be subject to debate: Evolution, yes or no? How about global warming?
I loved the idea on p. 109 that the students would take on the point of view of a character and argue for or against something that the character wants. Should Junie B. Jones have to ride the stinky bus? What does Junie say? What does her long-suffering mom say?
I can honestly say that I have used "oral writing," (p. 114) without calling it that. I think we call it modeling, but the other phrase is delightfully sophisticated. Either way, the students are thinking about the ideas in their writing and they are primed to go write some good content.
For sure, I will use the road map on p. 120 to guide me as a prepare my next round of persuasive writing projects. It does a great job summarizing all of the baby steps that the students need to take along the way to write a solid piece. I think I want to take it to the next step and have a public debate and let the students judge who "won." Just think of how much fun the 2014 midterm elections will be when the kids understand more about the persuasive format!