Early last week, I posed the question to the class, “What is a story?” This led to some really interesting discussion and wonderings. After some whole-class talk, one of my girls stopped everyone when she asked, “Are non-fiction books still important since we have the Internet now?” The room was abuzz as they all started talking at once about their opinions, which set up a lovely inquiry for the remainder of the lesson.
Students chose a side and started completing a persuasive writing graphic organizer to get their arguments and reasoning in order. (This had been introduced the week prior, so it was fresh in their minds.)
The next day, students were introduced to the persuasive essay format, complete with well-written paragraphs and transition words. Pairs then used their graphic organizer to inform their essays, and these are beautifully written pieces!
Our next step will for students to present their arguments to the class or in small groups - we haven't figured that one out yet.
This was such a great way for my kids to practice communicating, reasoning with logic, writing supporting details, and focusing on persuasion. I never mind when my "plans" get derailed by a student comment or question - that's the beauty of inquiry to me!