Writing to Persuade

Contributor: Lisa Ott. Lesson ID: 10563

Vanilla is the best ice cream flavor! Do you agree? Learn to persuade with your writing. You'll study examples from TV, nonfiction, and literature. You'll practice using tools to help you persuade.



learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


The power of persuasion! 

What did you enjoy about the commercials included in that video?

Many advertisements such as commercials are meant to share a persuasive message. What were the powers of persuasion in the commercials you watched? In other words, what message or story did the commercials tell? Discuss each example from the video with your instructor.

Watch Intro To Persuasive Text using TV commercials for more examples of persuasive messages:

Explore the following statements, and discuss what you notice about the messages each shares with you:

  • Bedtime should be later than 8:00PM.
  • A tree house would be great in our backyard!
  • My favorite lunch should be served each day.
  • Dessert should be allowed every day.

All of the statements are opinions. You may agree or disagree with the statements, but they are not facts. These opinions are meant to persuade or convince others to agree. They would be supported with additional opinions or reasons to make others agree.

For example:

  • Bedtime should be later than 8:00PM. A later bedtime still allows for plenty of rest for the next day. There is still daylight during some of the seasons of the year to play outside past 8:00PM. Plus, many of my friends have a bedtime later than 8:00PM; so they can spend more time together as a family!

To persuade means to convince others to change their mind to, or agree with the writer’s or speakers own beliefs. Some words used to persuade are: because, you should, in my opinion, for example, and need.

Many wonderful picture books that have been written to persuade the reader.

One example of a persuasive story is the Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry. Listening to this story will give you an idea of how words are used to persuade. Pause the story when you hear words that have been written to persuade or convince others to change their mind or agree with the author’s message.

Mrs. Thomas reads The Great Kapok Tree:

Story synopsis

The story takes place in the dense, green Amazon rain forest. A man has come to chop down a great Kapok tree. When he lies down to rest, the creatures that inhabit the tree and the surrounding forest come to whisper in his ear, each in its own fashion begging him to spare their home. "You see, all living things depend on one another," buzzes the bee. A boa constrictor, monkeys, colorful birds, a small tree frog, a jaguar, tree porcupines, anteaters, and a three-toed sloth take their turns. They each give an additional reason for the man to abandon his mission and choose to preserve this unique environment. Finally, a young child of the Yanomamo tribe whispers, "Senior, when you awake, please look upon us all with new eyes." And that is exactly what the man does.

How did the author use her written words to convince the reader that the environment is special and should be saved?

To be convincing, writers need to support their opinions with examples, reasons, or facts. What examples, reasons, or facts did you hear in The Great Kapok Tree that support saving the environment? Use the Story Map: Focus on Persuasive Text, from The Curriculum Corner, to help guide your discussion about this story!

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