Thank you Common Core for stretching my writers and me. We're all thoroughly enjoying this idea of persuasive writing. Thanks to some advice from Lucy Calkins and Sarah Picard Taylor, who wrote the book below, it's going very well so far.
We recently learned that writers can use persuasive letters to look outside of themselves to help change the problems that affect others. A few days ago we took a suggestion from Sarah and took a walk around our school in search of problems that needed addressing. Sarah suggests having the kids jot down their thoughts in Tiny Topics Notebooks, an idea from the Authors as Mentors Unit of Study from Lucy Calkins. (Read about my notebooks here.) My Tiny Topics Notebooks are slightly fancy and I would hate to lose them between now and Authors as Mentors, so I came up with something simple and easy for our persuasive letter writing unit. Meet their Noticing Notebook Necklaces.
We took them outside and noticed all kinds of things that could use our attention.
We even visited Mrs. Morrill in the office and asked her about some of the things that aren't working for her and the office in hopes that we could write some persuasive letters on her behalf. We jotted down a few great ideas.
The kids will also be taking their Noticing Notebook Necklaces home each day so they can live like writers who are always on the lookout for ways their homes, neighborhoods, and community can be better. Here's the letter I sent home to parents so they would know how to support this endeavor. Click on the picture if you'd like a copy.
Watch out! Our young writers are looking to change the world!