We started with fiction text because it’s what most kids are much more comfortable with it than nonfiction texts. I chose the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs for a few close listening lessons. I chose it because the kids would already be familiar with the story and ready to dive in at a deeper level, and it’s full of persuasive language. Plus, it’s just an awesome book.
Before reading the book, I asked the class to be on the lookout for persuasive language and to give me a thumbs up whenever they heard any. This book is so filled with persuasive language, they could have had their thumbs up for nearly the entire book. We stopped throughout the book to talk about the difference between pages that had just gave information and pages that had persuasive language.
As we were discussing this, I recorded our thoughts. I was lucky enough to have a large number of copies of this book, so the kids were able to work as partners or individually to dive into the text on their own.
I purposefully kept the assignment VERY simple because the thinking they needed to do was deep. I enlarged the chart and ran it on 11x17 paper to give them big space for big ideas. When kids are working as partners, it helps to give them paper that can be in front of both students.