I love using tangibles when teaching, so when I came across this persuasive writing assignment using Oreos, I knew it was one I wanted to do with the kids and share it with you!
This is not an original idea, so you will find a lot of free helps with this lesson simply by searching "oreo persuasive writing" but here's what I did.
First, I started by explaining why we use persuasive writing to my kiddos and sharing how OREO can help us clearly structure an opinion essay. I just typed up the following for myself in Publisher to be ready to explain the idea.
I also made a super quick poster board for a visual to have on our school table. Remember that as a homeschool mom tri fold poster boards are your friends! I am a huge investor in poster boards (Walmart, white foam $7).
Visuals (maps, timelines, new lessons) are incredibly helpful tools, but at the end of the day or the week I don't want to live in a classroom, so poster boards are my thing. I can set up my classroom visuals in minutes and then tuck them away when I don't need them. I even take lessons off of the poster boards and reuse them. They are my temporary walls and truly keep me sane. A small price to pay!
Ok, so back to the lesson. The idea is this:
OREO- The two O's stand for your opinion stated at the beginning and end sandwiching the R's and E's (Reason and Example "stuff" inside).
I found this premade Opinion writing form that I thought was great and I just copied it into a document and printed a copy for each kid.
What I love about this fill in form is that the kids can use this to lay out their opinion and supporting arguments with very little work and then when they bring it to me it is all right there so we can discuss if their thoughts need a little adjusting before they write out their essay. I was looking for clear statements at the beginning of each paragraph (their R- Reason) and then that their supporting sentences (their E- Examples) really tied to the idea they had stated (provided the "stuff").
Below is a super sloppy working outline to show how we used the fill in form. We wrote down ideas, crossed some out, moved others to places where they better supported their subject sentence and so on before they wrote their essays.
It really tightened up their writing and made them far more articulate than if I had just assigned them the task of writing an essay without this step.
Let's face it, writing is practically impossible if you don't know what to write about and I didn't want to see the kids staring out into space for 20 minutes, so I decided to have the kids pick a famous American that we already read about for their subject and explain why they felt they had played an important role in history. They could go back and look at their books to grab some of their reasons. Easy peasy.
Just as a side note, I love these "Who Was" books. They are a great length and provide just enough information about a person of interest to be engaging for all ages. This year we have read a stack of these and have more in the wings that we are going to tackle. They are pretty fast so they make a great once a week read aloud during the morning. We usually tackle a Famous American each Monday. Older kids who have had their appetites whetted can grab more books on this person during our weekly library trip.
|I loved that this lesson can be easily adjusted for any age. While High schoolers will write longer and meatier essays, the format is the same for everyone.|
Once the outlines were done, the kids wrote out their essays. You can always make this a multiple day lesson and have students type out their essays (a great skill for anyone above 3rd grade) but I was happy with the handwritten content for now.
|Elementary (5th Grade) sample with corrections. The paper is still not perfect but has met my objectives for our lesson.|
Overall the kids had fun eating Oreos and working with these tools. And I was happy with the outcome.
Hope you enjoy!
Rebecca Jones is a believer on Christ, passionate about God's Word and applying it to life. She and her High School sweetheart have been married for 25 years and have 5 daughters (yes 5!). Rebecca has a degree in Marketing, has been home educating for 15 years and writing since 2008. Her oldest daughter is presently attending a Christian college while the other 4 daughters continue to school at home.
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