Persuasive Writing with a Holiday Twist Part 1 (Freebie Included)

I’m here to share with you PART 1 of our Christmas Persuasive Writing Project: “The Mini-Lesson, Brainstorming and Writing.”

Part 2 will be the reveal of: “The Published Work.” Click HERE to check it out!

As you can see, we are knee deep in the trenches, but not without a holiday twist to keep my little merry children on their toes and engaged! We have been working on our persuasive unit and are finishing it up by the end of this week. You can read more HERE about the start of our persuasive unit, and how I pre-assessed my kids to see where they’re at with all things persuasive writing.

In the last post, I briefly mentioned how I incorporated some persuasive techniques like logos and rebuttal. This time around, we incorporated all six of the strategies included in my Christmas Persuasive Writing Pack.

We started slow by just talking about each of the techniques.

First, we got together as a class and went over the anchor charts (that are included in the pack). It was a pretty quick mini-lesson to get their brains thinking about these concepts. I then gave them the homework of looking for more examples of these persuasive techniques in the media. That way they could come back the next day and we could discuss the techniques with a better understanding.

Oh my goodness, they went to TOWN with this! Being that my kids are obsessed with athletes and celebrities, AND that commercials are saturated with athletes and celebrities, they had an easy time with it.

To help supplement my teaching, and to keep us from straying off course too much, I created this quick little PDF presentation of pictures and teaching prompts to guide our lesson on persuasive techniques. The pictures you see below are part of the PDF presentation, and you can grab them in a PDF format to help supplement your teaching by clicking HERE.

The next day, we started with the first slide of the presentation. We got the anchor charts back out and took notes on the techniques in our writing workshop notebooks. We broke them down into “kid language” definitions, and I had the students brainstorm examples of each of the techniques on their own before we got together to share.

Students then shared their ideas with classmates and jotted down new ideas that they hadn’t thought of themselves.

The discussions were pretty awesome, and students were giving me examples that I hadn’t even thought of. Of course I came prepared with this PDF presentation of ideas (just in-case), but my ideas were not as great as some of the things I heard them talking about.
Once I felt that the students had a pretty good understanding of each of the concepts, I then passed out the highly anticipated prompts! During our Thanksgiving writing, I limited the number of prompts to keep it simple for students, but this time I gave them the choice.

The prompts can be printed in a fun, festive color or in black and white strips. I printed a set of prompts for each table so that they could take the chance to read the prompts and pick one they liked.

Once they picked a prompt, we had a major brainstorm session. Students were to brainstorm how they could use each of the six persuasive writing strategies in their writing. I allowed them to use any brainstorming method they wanted. Here are some examples of the brainstorming below.
This student is used a web to persuade Santa to get a moustache and used “Movember” for his bandwagon technique. I LOVE when their personalities come out in their writing!
If you’re wondering what tugging at the heart strings represents, when speaking about pathos, I used the “kid language” understanding of tugging at the heart strings to help my students understand the concept better.
So, you can see all of the different ways my students brainstormed their ideas to get the ball rolling on their persuasive writing.
Next, I had them share their ideas with a partner. The partner teams worked together to pick out each student’s top three examples from their rough brainstorming.
Students were told that the three they chose would be the three they had to use in their final writing pieces. Many of them wanted to do more than three, and I left it up to them to decide. We talked about the fact that a good argument is loaded with strategies, but that if you overload your audience, you may not do a good job of persuading them at all.
Once students decided on their three best ideas, I then had the students write their three ideas/reasons on the Persuasive Planning Sheet or graphic organizer found in the pack. I walked around the room peeking over shoulders to make sure students and partners had picked three strong reasons that they could  use to support their topic.
Then, in true Writing Workshop form, I gave the students an opportunity to share.
**Side note: this is where the beauty of a document camera in the classroom comes in. When students can see each other’s work on display as an example vs. the teacher’s example when modeling a lesson, profound things happen. They “get it” and are WAY more interested in what their peers are writing. 
I projected this students example for everyone to see and a few laughs were had.

Next, we jumped right into writing topic sentences, transitions, and all those amazing supporting details that make up a fabulous paragraph!

Click HERE for PART 2 to see the SUPER ADORABLE published pieces!

Click here or the button below to grab this resource to use in your classroom!

Christmas Persuasive Writing Pack by Kristine Nannini



  1. What wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing :)

    I love the weight loss arguments – too funny!

    Joy in the Journey

  2. I loved seeing this whole process Kristine!! Fifth grade is a blast to write with!

  3. Kristine–I have used both your Thanksgiving and Christmas Persuasive Prompts with my class this fall, and this is such an awesome teaching tool to use along with them. Thanks for this!

    1. I’m so glad you can use this with the packs! It sometimes helps to just have one more visual while I teach. I’m super visual, so maybe it’s more for me?! Thanks so much for your comments!

  4. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and resources! I stumbled across your blog on Pinterest. Did you create the graphic organizer for persuasive writing? Is it on TPT? Thanks again – I am looking forward to exploring your blog over the holidays. :)

  5. Thank you so much for your comment Lee! Yes, I did make that graphic organizer, and it is on TpT in all of my persuasive packs. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading!

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