Where Can We Explore Persuasive Writing?

Writing persuasively is a skill which often serves our students beyond the classroom. So what are some of the different ways we can fit it into our busy classroom schedules? How can we integrate it with other subjects?

 
 

1. In English Classes

This feels rather obvious, but as well as explicitly teaching persuasive writing there are opportunities to explore it in other areas of English lessons. Debating or persuasive oral presentations allow students to explore ways of creating and arranging effective arguments, while hearing how they sound - so often we get a different impression of our writing when we hear it spoken out loud.

Persuasive writing can also be explored in reading lessons as students explore texts, find evidence and write their ideas about the text.

2. In Art, Music or Drama Classes

When we come across a really great piece of art, music or drama we often want to share it with everyone. But many people find it hard to effectively write an effective recommendation - to explain why people should see or listen to your favourite thing.

By writing extended recommendations, students can take a closer look at the elements which make the work excellent. This allows for discussion about staging, colour or rhythm - elements being taught in class - while persuading people to enjoy their favourite works.

3. Holiday Celebrations

Holiday celebrations are a great opportunity to explore persuasive speech while acknowledging events occurring throughout the year. Students could even brainstorm topics to write about in the lead up to the celebration.

Interested in a holiday persuasive writing prompt resource? This Halloween Persuasive Argument pack will have you well prepared!

4. In Different Subject Areas

History, civics and citizenship, social lessons and health lessons are all great areas to explore persuasive topics. Discussing and formulating arguments can be small or whole group activities, developing group work skills, and students can incorporate research skills to assist them in creating more persuasive arguments. Persuasion can also help students to develop a better understanding of the work historians or political commentators do and to understand that they don't always agree on historical or government topics.

One example of a subject area persuasive writing task is the Voting Should Be Compulsory Persuasive Argument task at the Galarious Goods store.

Looking for more persuasive writing prompts? The Persuasive Writing Prompt Bundle includes extended task sheets, task cards, organisers and a marking rubric - and because it's a bundle, you know that you're saving money!

 
 
 
 

An Aussie Night Before Christmas in the Classroom - Celebrating an Australian Christmas

Over the last few years there's been a number of Australian-themed holiday (and non-holiday) books published. Often they are influenced by and expand on classic stories, rhymes and songs, including Australian settings, animals and familiar objects to create relatable tales for Australian children.

One of the first of these was An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison and Kilmeny Niland, and there's a reason it's still so popular. It moves the classic poem to an Australian bush setting and includes more than a few Australian in-jokes - including a couple for the parents reading.

So how can a book like this be used in the classroom? 

 
 

New Stories from Old Stories

An Aussie Night Before Christmas retells the old 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, moving it the the summer heat of the Australian bush. It's a very modern feeling story, with Mum and Dad sitting down to watch tv sports and Santa arriving in a rusty old ute.

Retelling old stories is a really interesting concept for students to investigate. They can discuss other stories, rhymes and songs which could be retold in new ways or investigate other stories which have been retold. They can discuss the choices of the story teller - where they choose to stay with the original story and where they move away from it. And they can have a go at retelling the story themselves.

A Very Australian Portrayal

An Aussie Night Before Christmas tells an Australian story - but is it the Australian story? This is a great opportunity for students to engage with the idea of generalisations, stereotypes and ideas of identity. They can identify which things seem familiar to them and which ones are different. They can talk about what 'Australian' mean to them and what it might look like to someone from another country.

An extension on this is to ask students to write their own version which shows a different Australian night before Christmas. They could bring in their own family traditions or ones they discuss with their classmates. This could be a great small group or whole class activity.

Why Are Stories Like This Important?

Why should we have Australian versions of stories? What does it mean to students to see their own country in a book, to see images which make more sense than sleighs and reindeer? This could open some fascinating conversations about representation in stories and carols - it would be especially useful if you want students to create their own Christmas carols or stories.

 

This is a great book for all ages at Christmas time. There's a lot of really interesting discussions and chances for writing and other creative activities. If you don't have a copy to share with your class, I highly recommend it.

 
Christmas in Australia activities based around An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison. This resource pack includes comprehension and vocabulary, writing activities, discussion topics and creating activities.

Christmas in Australia activities based around An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison. This resource pack includes comprehension and vocabulary, writing activities, discussion topics and creating activities.

 

Wanting to take a more in-depth look at An Aussie Night Before Christmas? Pick up this Book Study resource at the Galarious Goods shop. Or buy the Australian Christmas Writing Bundle and save!

     
     

    Surviving Christmas in an Australian Classroom

    Ah, Christmas. The students are tired. Admin are insisting that it's business as usual until 3pm on the last day. There's activities and performances and assemblies and you never get a full class for more than half an hour at a time. You've just found out you need to move your whole classroom across the school. Oh, and it's swelteringly hot!

    Of course, what you need are Christmas or holiday themed activities which promote real learning - while fitting into the spaces of time you get in the classroom!

     
     

    Bring on the Games

    This is a great time for reinforcing everything you've taught during the year with a series of games. Your students will love you, they'll have a better chance of remembering things into the new year and then their next teacher will also love you! 

    Short multiplication games, grammar games and spelling games are great for filling in the 5 or 10 minute gaps before you have to be somewhere. You could also hold a trivia quiz over the last few weeks, breaking the class into teams and covering all sorts of information from the year (things you've covered, books you've read, events you've attended plus general trivia).

    Board games and adapted board games can work really well for those times when you're missing some of the students. You can also take the games outside to rejuvenate students. Use the first hour of the day when it's a little cooler, or find a covered or shaded place to play. 

    Writing Tasks

    Writing is one of those tasks which is wonderfully adaptable to any event or time of the year. Students can create their own creative writing prompts, create stories, poems, songs or plays about Christmas or the holidays. They can respond to articles in newspapers or online. They can write letters to family and friends or write reflections about the year they've had. 

    Persuasive writing is now a big feature of Australian classrooms and an excellent technique to work on at Christmas time. Students can write advertisements or letters to the editor or they can respond to a persuasive text prompt.

     
    A collection of five Christmas in Australia - themed persuasive writing prompts, this resource can be used for test preparations, homework assignments or as part of whole class teaching or writer’s workshop.

    A collection of five Christmas in Australia - themed persuasive writing prompts, this resource can be used for test preparations, homework assignments or as part of whole class teaching or writer’s workshop.

     

    Reading

    Although the Christmas season might not allow enough time for a Christmas novel, there is enough time to examine Christmas picture books. Students can examine picture books based on old carols and stories or picture books which tell new stories. They can talk about the way Christmas is portrayed, the emphasis which is put on Christmas in the books (is it about Santa? Giving? Where Christmas is held? The food?) or how different Christmas books compare with each other. Alongside the reading discussion, there's plenty of room for accompanying writing and craft activities.

     
    Christmas in Australia activities based around An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison. This resource pack includes comprehension and vocabulary, writing activities, discussion topics and creating activities. A perfect resource to continue and extend learning in the final weeks of school in Australia.

    Christmas in Australia activities based around An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison. This resource pack includes comprehension and vocabulary, writing activities, discussion topics and creating activities. A perfect resource to continue and extend learning in the final weeks of school in Australia.

     

    Maths Investigations

    Christmas and holidays are great for maths investigations. You can plan for Christmas lunch (time table for cooking, menu planning for 4 people or 6 people or 8 people, working out the cost of ingredients and creating a budget.

    Or you could create an investigation around wrapping presents - how can you wrap different sized boxes? How much paper will you need? 

    Or look at patterns of Christmas lights. What patterns can you create? How does it change when you use different numbers of lights or colours?

    There are so many easy to set up and easy to implement ideas to create real learning at Christmas time - even with the heat. And don't forget my Christmas freebie - available here!