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    a book
    By fleetwoodfan

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    I use a teacher resource book called "Twisting Arms." Another teacher in my building is borrowing it otherwise I would tell you the name of the publisher.

    Here are some ideas from that book:
    1. Let students pick their topics from a "screened" (by you) list of topics. Everything from "iPods should be allowed at lunch" to "scientific research on animals is wrong" was a go in my class. There were 3 great topic lists in the book I mentioned but I found some great ones just by googling "Persuasive paper topics for (your age group)."

    2. Having a couple fun group debates is a fun way to warm-up for the skill of seeing both sides of an issue. You could pick a fun topic (age appropiate) and use a "talking object" to manage the discussion meaning only the kid holding the object (a tennis ball, rain stick, etc) can talk and others have to record the idea on a graphic organizer representing the YES side or NO side.

    3. I teach my kids what a thesis means (your overall, bold opinion) and that this needs to be in the introduction --- no exceptions. And after that, the student needs to stay on one side of the argument. The only time they can talk about the other side is to explain how it is a weaker side called "address the opposing viewpoint."

    4. The rubric I used went something like this:
    Introduction (thesis sentence is evident) 1-5
    Organization (new and clear transitions evident) 1-5
    Sentence Fluency (2 sentence types) 1-5
    Ideas/Content (they actually persuade the reader!) 1-5
    Conventions 1-5
    Voice (passion for the topic) 1-5

    I made this up to fit my 7th graders... Hope this helps!

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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