Monday, February 16, 2015

are non-fiction texts still important?

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.)
photo 2 (15)      photo 3 (13)
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!
photo 5 (4)         photo 1 (18)
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!

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