*In this resource I have argued against space travel and computer games, as I thought it was likely that most of my class would like to take the opposing view for their own writing, later on.
A fully planned and resourced lesson, complete with differentiated activities and a model text.
First, children learn the opening paragraph to the model text ‘Computer games are harmful to children’. This should be quick and easy to learn – add a few actions if you wish. Use the PowerPoint or a text map to support.
Then, take a quick look at how the text has been changed to the subject of space travel.
What has changed? What has stayed the same?
Briefly explore the idea that, in persuasive writing, if you can write one opening paragraph, you can write hundreds. It is simply:
• Introduce the subject of the debate
• Introduce which side you are on
• State that you have many strong arguments
Next, move on to looking at the how the first argument is structured. Again, it follows a pattern:
• Topic sentence – to introduce the key idea of this particular paragraph
• Facts and opinions
• A rhetorical question
On a flip chart or screen, show how you can use this simple structure to write a paragraph against exploring space on the subject of safety. There is an example of how you could do this on slide 8.
Now the children should be ready to try this structure themselves. During independent time they use the same structure to create their own persuasive paragraphs about space travel.
After this they can organise persuasive paragraphs about anything they choose.
I have had great success with this approach and so have my colleagues. I hope you find it useful too.