Friday, November 16, 2012

Persuasive Writing and Turkey Disguises

I honestly d not know where the first quarter of the year has gone! Two more school days until Thanksgiving break - WHAT?! With Thanksgiving upon us we did some Thanksgiving themed writing this week.  Our writing from Journeys this week was persuasive letters.  What better persuasive letter assignment than to pretend you are a turkey and persuade a farmer that he should not eat you for Thanksgiving dinner.  This is a writing prompt that I have heard about from many different people, it is perfect for this time of year.  

One of the things that our little ones can struggle with sometimes is coming up with ideas of what to write.  Or in this case ideas of how to persuade the farmer not to eat them.  I though I would play a little dress up to get them thinking.  We have writing right after recess, so while my class was at recess (luckily I didn't have duty) I changed into some jeans and a plaid shirt and straw hat.  Overalls would have been ideal, but unfortunately I didn't have any and thy weren't in the budget.  When the students came back in I had them go into an empty room.  I came in and talking with a little bit of a different accent told them that I was Farmer Paul and that it was almost Thanksgiving and I needed to find a Turkey.  I told them that luckily I had lots of turkeys and pointed to all of them.  I had a few of them show the class how they might be able to act like a turkey.  I told the class that when I said go they were to go around the room acting like turkeys.  If I pointed to them with my arm extended and said "shoot" the whole class had to freeze and the person I said "shoot" to had to come up with a reason why I should not have them for Thanksgiving dinner, then we did it again only I would choose a different student.  My students LOVED this and they came up with some awesome ideas!

Some of them included things like:
- I'm to young to die
- I'm skinny, I don't have any meat on me
- I am a rare type of Turkey, I'm the only one of this kind on your farm
- I won't taste good
- I have poison in me
- I'm dirty

It was great when we went back into the classroom because I gave the kids a graphic organizer (they had to have three reasons why the farmer should not eat them with explanations for each reason) and they went to work, they were creative and didn't complain about not knowing what to write.  They had gotten enough ideas in our little drama experience to get them excited about their writing. 

After the graphic organizer we wrote rough drafts and final drafts of our letters.  Then today we did a little art project to go with the assignment.  I told the kids that their letters were great, but in order to make sure that the farmer really didn't eat them for Thanksgiving dinner they would have to disguise themselves!  We brainstormed some things they could disguise themselves as on the board.  Then I gave them some turkeys and some tips on how to cut the disguise to fit the turkey and they went to work!  Their turkeys are GREAT! I love looking at them in the hallway.  Here are a few of them:

The disguises below include a word wall letter, a barn, a ninja, fire, a bowling pin, a rose bush, an iPad, and a Christmas tree.


They all did a great job and it is so fun to look at them in the hallway!

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