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Lesson Plan

Persuading the Principal: Writing Persuasive Letters About School Issues

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Joelle Brummitt-Yale

Pittsboro, North Carolina


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • One computer with Internet access and speakers

  • Overhead projector or whiteboard

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Persuasion Map

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.


Letter Generator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Letter Generator

The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.


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1. If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, reserve time in your school's computer lab for Sessions 4 and 7.

2. Familiarize yourself with content on the websites listed in the Web Resources. The "Free Speech, In and Out of School" article focuses on students' rights to free speech and was written from an adult perspective for an adult audience. The "To Sag or Not to Sag" podcast reflects a student's perspective on the fashion trend of boys wearing low-riding pants (click the audio bar to hear podcast; feature starts around 15:19). Alternatively, you may want to locate editorial articles on topics that are relevant to your particular group of students-such as school uniforms, for example.

3. Print a copy for each student of the article or bookmark the podcast on your classroom computer so that you can also play it for your students (see Sessions 1 and 2).

4. Print and review the Elements of Effective Persuasive Writing and Persuasive Writing Topic Exploration handouts. Each student will need three copies of the Elements of Effective Persuasive Writing handout. Each group of students will need one copy of the Persuasive Writing Topic Exploration handout.

5. Familiarize yourself with the interactive Persuasion Map and Letter Generator websites. Bookmark both websites on your classroom or school lab computers. If you experience technical difficulties, you may need to download the newest version of the Flash plug-in, which is available for free on the Technical Help page of this website. You may want to create and print your own persuasion map and letter to serve as models.

6. Review the Persuasive Writing: Letter to the Principal Rubric. Print out two copies per student.

7. For part of this lesson students will need to work in collaborative writing groups of no more than three students each. Think about how you would like to group students. Will students choose their own groups, or will you group students based on abilities, interests, personalities, etc.? If you are planning on grouping students yourself, create a list of the groups ahead of time for Session 3.

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