English - Sir, please let me gunk you

8th February 2013 at 00:00

What it's all about

How do you persuade your teaching assistants to spend the day dressed as a pantomime cow? Or your (male) teacher to don a tutu and a wig for a good cause?

Last year's Red Nose Day presented the perfect opportunity for work on persuasive writing skills, writes Clare Trotter. The Comic Relief cause provided a purpose, staff were a ready-made audience and children could see the effectiveness of their writing on Red Nose Day.

Their brief: to write a letter to a member of staff, persuading them to complete a challenge to raise awareness for Comic Relief. Identifying their chosen "victim" and deciding on the nature of the challenge sparked hilarity and imagination.

Time was spent researching facts on the Comic Relief website, watching film clips portraying the impact the charity has on people's lives (available at tes.co.ukrednoseday) and finding out how the money raised is used.

Armed with their new knowledge, the children composed their letters on specially designed Comic Relief notepaper, expressing themselves movingly and convincingly. They structured their writing clearly, expressed a balanced viewpoint and included statistics to substantiate their argument.

The impact on their writing was staggering. All of them were able to access the task and engaged with it. They saw the effect of their words first-hand as they delivered the letters, saw teachers' reactions and then watched the consequences playing out on Red Nose Day.

What else?

Help pupils to research reasons why people live in slums with this set of writing resources. bit.lyRNDLifeinMukuru

Learn the art of persuasive writing with jomax766 's template. bit.lyPersuasiveWritingTemplate.

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