Save My Neck! Persuasive Thanksgiving Writing

I’ve found Thanksgiving to be the perfect season for…persuasive writing.  This year’s writing prompt involved point of view and persuasive techniques.  Students wrote from the perspective of the turkey with the task of convincing me not to chop off their head and eat them for Thanksgiving dinner.

Our initial writing used the OREO graphic organizer for persuasive writing.  I found the idea and graphic organizers on Our Cool School.  The premise is simple: each paragraph has an Opinion, Reason, Explanation, Opinion.  We of course Double Stuf or Triple Stuf our Oreos to create multi-paragraph essays!

Talking Head Apps      Talking Heads App

I motivated my students to finish this writing quickly by giving the kids two options for publishing.  They could either publish using the iFunFace app or Mad Lips.  iFunFace creates a talking head using whatever image the user uploads.  Mad Lips asks the user to record their own lips on an image.  Both of the apps allow the student to record themselves reading their work.  Below I’ve uploaded the video we spliced together of each students’ work.  Their persuasive reasoning was hysterical.  From turkeys who stink because they wash gym shorts daily to turkeys who are diseased from running around without shoes, this writing was the best example of voice I’ve gotten from these kids all year.  I loved being able to hear their expression as they read aloud their written work.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Writing Prompt

Looking for an activity that wouldn’t increase the already hefty Christmas/Full Moon hype, I stumbled across the Ugly Christmas Sweater writing idea from iintegratetechnology.  Utilizing the popularity of the ugly holiday sweater theme, I was able to hook my kids on a writing task that kept them occupied those last few days before Christmas.

Ugly Sweater AppI began by making sure that all of my kids knew what the ugly holiday sweater theme was all about.   We watched

Children used the Ugly Holiday Sweater app to write descriptively.

Children used the Ugly Holiday Sweater app to write descriptively.

the popular television commercial for Bank of America on Youtube.  Next, we used the app Ugly Holiday Sweaters to ugly sweater ourselves for the holiday season.  Some of these pictures were absolutely great!  Keep in mind, I’ve not yet given the writing prompt.  After students worked with a partner to get a photo of themselves in their ugly sweater, I finally gave the directions.  Students had to write descriptively and persuasively to convince me that their’s was the most beautiful sweater in the world.  Oh the moans and groans!

photocardThe children wrote great essays about their sweaters.  To publish, students used Bill Atkinson’s Photocard app.  On one side of the postcard was an image of them in their ugly holiday sweater, and on the other side they typed their written piece.