Title - Zanker School

Intro | Research | ESSAYS | PSAs

Persuasive Essay Writing

One of the California State Standards for fifth grade writing is the persuasive essay. Before launching into writing persuasive essays on the environmental topics that the students researched, Zanker fifth graders first learned how to write an essay to persuade their intended audience. The students learned how to take a position, address arguments against their position, and conclude with their strongest reason. After practicing this writing genre during the month of October, students were ready to apply the new skill toward their environmental project.

Environmental Concerns Essays

After reviewing the research found for their particular topic, students chose positions and brainstormed reasons that supported those positions. They also worked on addressing why their audience would not want to take action toward improving the various environmental problems. Essay topics included car pollution, water pollution, and wasting electricity. After writing their essays, the students revised, edited, and rewrote the essays after both teacher and peer review. Zanker fifth graders also learned how to write a bibliography to reference the research sources used as the basis for their essays.

Think.com ePortfolios

The students uploaded their typed essays to their Think.com websites. Their think.com webpages served two purposes: as an ePortfolio where they could archive completed work, and for review and feedback from the teacher, their peers, and the students from River Glen and Almaden School, with whom they collaborated on this project. To view a sample persuasive essay, click here. To view a sample of one of the student's Think.com ePortfolio pages, click here. The students finished their essays by the end of November. Soon after, collaborative groups began planning their public service announcements.