Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tried It Tuesday - Using School Supply Catalogs for Persuasive Writing

Hi All-
It's another cold day for us here in Wisconsin.
We had school yesterday while many around us had the day off.
We were told by the Assistant Superintendent that our cut-off for a "Cold Day"
is a wind chill of -35.
Yesterday the wind chill was a mere -30.
The central office may have gotten some phone calls from unhappy parents, as we were called off for today by noon yesterday.  Hurray!
I had time to work on my report cards.
Uh....er....more time to avoid doing my report cards is the real story.

But I am happy to be back here blogging, and joining Holly for Tried It Tuesday.
Have you been getting as many school supply catalogs as we have been?
I would love to spend hours perusing these catalogs, but the truth is we don't get any kind of money allowance for ordering anything. 
That's right - zilch.
Maybe some of you are lucky to get a budget for your classroom
You are so lucky!

I decided to use the catalogs for a persuasive writing project.
The students had 10-15 minutes in a small group to look through a catalog and choose something that had a few descriptive details with it.
They would still be looking at these catalogs if I hadn't given a time limit.
Lily selected the Programmable Rover Robot from the Lakeshore Learning catalog.  Looks really cool!

Next  I had the students glue down the picture to a piece of colored paper, and attach an index card.
On the index card they wrote dash facts from the ad for the item.
We had done dash facts when we worked on an informative piece, so the students were familiar with them.

As a class we brainstormed leads to our persuasive paragraphs.

These were the leads the students suggested. We decided the words that were underlined could be replaced by a word that was connected to the selected toy.
The students chose a lead and then turned the dash facts into sentences about their item. 
Sounds like a real commercial, doesn't it?
They had to end the piece with a sentence persuading the reader to buy the item.
The students were proud to share these at a Schoolwide Writing Sharing Day we had recently.

This week I am part of a giveaway being held by Heather at Learning with Mrs. Langley!
You could win this product of mine just in time for the Winter Olympics!
Your students do research on the Team USA website about an athlete, and then the class compiles them into a guidebook.  It's perfect for building excitement for the games, and for watching who wins the medals during this 3-week event.
You can enter the contest, or find it at my TpT store!

Also included in this product are directions and materials for your students to do a more involved independent project on an Olympian.

These are pictures from some of the projects my students have done.

So head on over to Mrs. Langley's site to enter the giveaway, and then check out Holly's blog for Tried It Tuesday ideas!


  1. HI! I found you through the 'Tried it Tuesday' Linky party!! I'm your newest follower and fellow 3rd grade teacher in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Love your idea on persuasive writing and I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog to see what you've been up to! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard

  2. That's a great way to reuse catalogs. I'm going to have to do this.
    Fourth and Goal in Fourth Grade

  3. What a fabulous idea! I have used the Scholastic book orders before for persuasive writing, but this would be going BIG. I like that and I bet the kids would too! Thanks for sharing. STAY WARM!!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. Thanks for this idea. I definitely have some catalogues around and love that it gives the students an opportunity to work with a bigger product. Pinning this for next year :)

  5. Pinned for teaching persuasive writing! What a fabulous idea! You are right about giving them a time limit too. Students LOVE shopping in catalogs even if it is "pretend" shopping. Haha!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. This is such a cool idea! Very engaging and effective. My kiddos would love this. I might branch out to use book order forms, too. Thank you for sharing!
    Second Grade Signpost