Young Writer’s Workshop – The Persuasive Piece!

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Molly Baldwin, 2nd Grade Teacher at Carl T. Mitnick School in Cape May, NJ, knows how to make writing come alive for her students. How do you make a persuasive writing assignment extra fun? Tie it to some wacky and wild picture books!


by Molly Baldwin

For the last month, my second grade students have been diligently working on opinion pieces during Writer’s Workshop. They have delved into literary work that has inspired them to want to persuade a fellow classmate, a teacher…..whomever, to read a book of their choice. I wanted my students to have the opportunity to meet an author, and with the advancement of technology in my school, what better way than to Skype.

After doing some research, I came across Jean Reidy, an author who kindly agreed to speak with my class. My students were eager to share all that they had learned regarding persuasive writing, so I decided to tie in our writing curriculum with several of Jean’s stories, All Through My Town, Too Pickley! Too Purpley! and Too Princessy!

As a class, we spent a week dissecting the stories, discussing story elements, characters, problem/solution, and much more. Students were assigned to write a letter to Jean, explaining why one of her books was their favorite, with at least two supporting reasons. StudeFirst Day Pictures 715nts made comparisons between her stories, tied in stories that were similar to Jean’s, shared real-life connections, and made Jean feel like a “Super Star” with their letters of adoration.

The result of their week long efforts was nothing short of spectacular. My students were able to share their letters with Jean, ask questions, and receive many accolades from both myself and the author. The Skype visit far exceeded my expectations, and I know that my students will remember this experience for years to come. Jean is definitely a mentor and new friend, and has inspired my young writers to continue to grow and glow.

Molly Baldwin is a second grade teacher at Carl T. Mitnick School in Cape May, New Jersey. She has a BA in Communications from The College of New Jersey, and a BA in Elementary Education from Stockton University. She will also soon have her MA in Administration from Rowan University.

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