18 Simple and Fabulous Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Persuasive writing is a lot of fun to teach students because they get to talk about topics they are passionate about, convince their readers to agree with them, and write.  Even though persuasive writing is fun to teach there are so many parts to persuasive writing it’s good to have a well-thought-out plan for how you will go about it.   Mini-lessons are a great way to allow your students time to learn quick lessons and write.

Fun Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

Analyzing advertising, creating ads, and debates are fun parts of teaching persuasive writing.  Students quickly become engaged in learning about persuasive writing because it brings writing to life in a new way.  Persuasive writing sparks creativity and interest from students in a way that other types of writing don’t.  I always loved the way my students lit and talked when we started persuasive writing. Enjoy all the fun parts of teaching persuasive writing.

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas Bringing Together Writing and Persuasive Skills

One of the reasons students love persuasive writing is because they get to convince the reader to agree with them.  By fourth grade, students are working on persuading friends and family to do all sorts of things they want.  When students realize they can do this in writing, for school, and get good grades for it they are surprised and engaged. Persuasive writing brings together students’ incredible persuasive skills and writing to help students learn a completely new skill.

What is Persuasive Writing?

Persuasive writing essays are when the writer is trying to convince the reader to agree with them.  The writer wants to be right and to prove that they are, they may blend facts and opinions.  They can also use emotional connections to try to persuade the reader. After the writer has convinced the reader they are right, the writer is trying to get the reader to do something like stop using plastic straws or buy them a puppy.  How they manage to convince the reader to adopt new ways of thinking depends on the technique or combination of techniques the writer decides to use.  There are a lot of tips, methods, and ideas out there, but they all come back to three techniques.

Techniques of persuasive writing are the methods a writer uses to convince the reader to agree with them and do what they want.  Remember there is a slight difference between opinion, persuasive, and argumentative writing.  If you want to read about the differences, you can look at my article Discover this Powerful 3 Part Detailed and Simple Guide to Persuasive Writing Essays.

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18 Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

It can be hard to know where to start with persuasive writing.  It’s difficult to determine what our students know, how we can engage them, and how many lessons to use.  Then creating the lessons is a whole other challenge.  Here are 17 persuasive writing mini-lesson ideas to simplify the whole process.  Keep an eye on my TpT store [KPN2] too because these lessons will be for sale soon.

Persuasive Mentor Text Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

Mentor texts always have a positive impact on student learning.  Students are still learning what persuasive writing is in the upper elementary grades.  Let them explore and observe mentor texts in small groups or as a class.  See what they can learn just from reading mentor texts.  They might make observations about the type of writing, the language used, transitions, and more.

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas to Explain “What is Persuasive Writing?”

It’s important that near the beginning of your persuasive writing unit, you take time to define persuasive writing with your students.  They need to know how persuasive writing is different from other types of writing.  Here are a few ideas on how to teach your students what persuasive writing is.

  • Look at mentor texts
  • Compare different types of texts
  • Use a Venn diagram
  • Name that type of writing game
  • Book sort
  • Look at where persuasive writing is used in the real world

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Picking Persuasive Topics

Your students need options for what their persuasive topics will be.  You can give a few options, set parameters, or allow students to write about any topic.   Persuasive writing is all about convincing others to believe what you believe, agree with you about what is right, and think about an alternative perspective.  You can challenge older students by having them persuade others when they don’t believe in the topic.  However, students who are still learning to write a persuasive essay must believe passionately in their topic.   

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Research Persuasive Topic

Once students pick their topics, they need to research them thoroughly.  I have students research their topics before they declare their stance because sometimes after students research a topic well, they change their stance.  What they believed to be true was incorrect or inaccurate.  Teachers know how to research but students do not.

  • Give Your Students Specific Websites to Use for Research
  • Use a Persuasive Writing Graphic Organizer
  • Watch YouTube Videos
  • Get the Librarian Involved

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Thesis Statements

Once their research is done students should decide on which side of the argument they are on.  What position are they taking? What are they going to try to persuade others to believe?

The first thing students need to write is their thesis statement. Their thesis statement should clearly state their opinion on their topic. It must be straightforward and clear to ensure that the readers don’t get confused. Usually, the thesis statement is in the introductory paragraph, but they can write the thesis statement and then go back to write the rest later.  I think it’s easier to write the rest later because then the rest of the essay is clear. 

  • Show your students several examples of thesis statements.
  • Sentence starters could help your students write their thesis statements.
  • Have your students work in small groups to declare a clear thesis statement.

Task, Purpose, and Audience for Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

The students know the purpose of their writing is to persuade others.  That is the type of writing they are required to complete. 

Their task is the assignment the teacher has given.  You could ask them to give three clear reasons with evidence.  You might say the opening and closing paragraphs must be engaging and well-planned.  You might require data and statistics.  The task could be the topic of the persuasive essay.  Their task involves the specifics of the assignment you have given them.

Their audience is extremely important.  If students are writing to their peers, they will write differently than if they write to their audience, if their parents.  Vocabulary, sentence structure, and reasoning all change depending on who their audience is.  It’s important to teach students how to identify and write to their audience.

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos as Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

Have you heard of ethos, pathos, and logos?  They are the three modes of persuasion that Aristotle identified long ago.  Persuasive strategies stem from ethos, pathos, and logos.  Ethos is moral persuasion, pathos is emotional persuasion, and logos are logical persuasion.  Many people have broken persuasion into smaller or more specific parts, but they can be traced back to ethos, pathos, and logos.  Teach your students about these ancient terms that still hold true.  They will be better writers for it.  You can read more about ethos, pathos, and logos in my article Discover this Powerful 3 Part Detailed and Simple Guide to Persuasive Writing Essays. 

Persuasive Reasoning Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

By the time you get to this lesson, your students should have researched their topic thoroughly.  Now they must determine the best reasons and arguments they will present to the reader.  Here are some ways to get your student started

  • Organize their reasons and arguments into categories
  • Star the best arguments
  • Have students work in groups to determine their reasons and arguments

Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Adding Counterarguments

As students grow as writers, they will mature beyond sharing their opinion, then adding strong reasoning, and finally addressing counterarguments.  Counterarguments are what the reader or opposing viewpoint might say about the topic and reasons.  Counterarguments are the reason to not agree with the writer.  A strong writer will point out the counterarguments to explain that they have researched and considered these ideas, but still, believe their viewpoint is correct.

Teaching students about counterpoints can be fun and tricky.  Here are a few ideas.

  • Mentor Texts
  • Debates
  • Small Group Discussion
  • Research

Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Organization

Organization is extremely important in persuasive writing.  Sometimes the writer is educating the audience at the same time they are trying to persuade them.  The sequence of reasons should build on each other at the same time as they inform the audience.  Students need to make sure their reasons and evidence all belong in the same paragraph.  Then they need to make sure their paragraphs are in a logical order.

Students tend to dislike arranging and rearranging their work.  I think it’s often because they aren’t sure how to do it.  It can be hard to see how other writers’ ideas build on each other and figure out how to do it themselves.  Here are some ideas you can try in your classroom.

  • Read mentor texts to examine how ideas build on each other.
  • Put their reasons and evidence on sticky notes so they can rearrange them easily
  • Use Graphic organizers that support organizing their ideas
  • Discuss their organization with a few partners who know the topic well and some who don’t.

Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Writing Style

Students quickly learn how to write in the first person in narrative writing.  Then we teach students about the third person and formality in expository writing.  However, the second person is a little more complex.  It’s not used as much in school.

Persuasive writing uses all the writing styles.  When students are writing opinion pieces, they use the first person.  Then when students start writing persuasive essays, they can use I or you, first or second person.  Finally, when students start argumentative essays, they should maintain a formal style or third person.  Persuasive writing is a great opportunity to talk about the benefits and purpose of each writing style.

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas on Persuasive Words and Sentence Structure

Persuasive writing has a unique language that is effective for persuading the reader.  Persuasive words and sentences help the reader understand and connect with the topic.  They can make something seem wonderful or awful depending on the description used.  The sentence encourages the reader to think and compare both sides.  A quick Google search will help you find lots of persuasive words and sentence structure.  I like to check the images tab. 

Persuasive language can be really fun to teach, and it practices a lot of description.  You can have students discuss these in small groups, create a quick project, or debate both sides.  Here are a few ideas.

  • Sell a Product
  • Political Ads
  • Environmental Issues
  • Describe a Person
  • Describe a Book or TV Villain

Expanding Persuasive Thoughts Through Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

When a student is passionate about the topic they are writing about it can be easy for them to get stuck on a small portion of the topic.  They can only see their small point of view.  It’s important to teach students how to expand their ideas and thoughts, not just in writing class, but in life. 

Expanding ideas can simply mean that students give more detail and description in their writing to give the reader a clear picture.  It can also mean expanding their topic for greater examination.  The best way for students to do this is by researching thoroughly, but even after the research phase, students can have trouble letting go of their original idea.  Let’s look at how to do it.

  • Create a question starburst so students must dive deeper into research.
  • Small group discussions with people who agree.
  • Small group discussions with people who don’t agree.
  • Interview people who know or are impacted by the topic.
  • Make it a game where students get a topic, and each student has to come up with a question.  See if students can build questions from other people’s questions that dive deeper into the topic.
  • Make students answer the 5W’s for each reason.

Call to Action Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

A call to action is a key component of persuasive writing.  Opinion writing is more about sharing the writer’s opinion.  Argumentative writing gives research and data to let the reader decide what is right using logic.  This means that Persuasive writing is where students will want to have a call to action, some argumentative writing might also.

A call to action is what the writer is asking the reader to do about what they read.  They could ask the reader to do something, stop doing something, or take action beyond themselves.  Here are a few examples.

  • Recycle
  • Stop using plastic straws
  • Write a politician
  • Share the information so more people know

It’s great to be able to write so people will listen and believe you.  It’s incredible to write so people will change or get up and do something about it.  The best way to teach your students a call to action is to have them read some short articles about a topic.  Ask them which one made them want to do something. See if they can find a call to action in the writing.

Persuasive Conclusions Writing Mini Lesson Ideas

The conclusion of a persuasive paper has a standard formula in the academic world. It’s a bit predictable and boring to grade but it works especially as students are still learning persuasive writing.

1. Restate the Thesis

2. Summarize the Reasons

3. Remind the Reader Why They Care

4. Call to Action

5. Strong Closing Sentence

The best way to help students learn how to write a persuasive conclusion is to give them each other’s papers. Have students write the conclusion for 3 to 5 classmates.  This activity gives students lots of practice writing conclusions and it takes the emotion out of the final paragraph of their own writing. 

Sometimes we get too close to our writing and the conclusion is usually the place that suffers the most.  We know the material so well by that point that it is poorly done.  I love the idea of having students practice with their peers’ work.  They can also read the conclusions their peers wrote for them to see if they need to revise parts further or if it’s good.  They can borrow some ideas from the conclusions their peers wrote but should still write their conclusion.

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas Revising Persuasive Writing

Each lesson has allowed your students to revise their work.  They were guided through the entire process of writing a persuasive essay.  Writing can always get better though. 

Revision is when a writer makes sure their writing is clear to the reader.  All confusing or unnecessary parts have been fixed or removed.  But of course, our students’ ideas are clear to them.  Here’s how we can help them see their work better.

  • Peer Editing
  • Examine the Conclusions Their Peers Wrote
  • Fill Out a New Graphic Organizer to Check Their Work
  • Read it Out Loud

Writers should continuously revise their work.  It’s why our student’s hand in final drafts because there are always more improvements to be made.

Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Editing Persuasive Essays

Editing is one of the most tedious steps of the writing process.  Fixing the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization can be overwhelming, especially for the students who need editing the most.  Here are a few ideas on how to edit.

  • Editing in Rounds – Students read the paper several times fixing only one thing each time. For example on the first student check only capitalization.
  • Peer Editing – Students have a peer read their work and give suggestions.
  • Students Read Their Own Paper to a Peer – Reading out loud helps everyone find more errors.
  • Rainbow Editing – Have several students edit each paper, but each student uses a different color and tries to find errors the last person didn’t.

Persuasive Writing Essay Dos and Don’ts

If you have any special rules or things you want students to do or avoid doing, then make it a small mini-lesson.  It’s great to have this at the end of the unit because you have been guiding them the whole time.  It’s almost a recap of what you think is most important and anything extra you want to add.  It’s hard for me to give a list of dos and don’ts because this will be completely different for every teacher.

Persuasive Writing Min Lesson Ideas and Passion

Passion is so important in persuasive writing because it’s easier to argue and persuade for something the writer believes in.  In school students often must write about particular topics, study history and science that the curriculum dictates, perform the pieces that the teacher chooses, or solve the problems laid out on that cute worksheet.  In persuasive writing, it’s important to truly let your students have a voice.  Let them choose the topics, their stance, the arguments, research, and counterpoints.  Let their passion and ideas fill the pages and your students will learn.

Here is Your FREE Prompt for Writing Poetry

I know that you needed a prompt to help kickstart your students’ writing.  Here is an entire lesson for FREE.  My Our School Poem guides students through using sensory language to describe their school. The step-by-step directions guide your class through the writing process with all the necessary worksheets making this the perfect lesson for your classroom.

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