6th Grade Persuasive Letter Unit Plan

Unit Title:  The Persuasive Letter                                            Grade Level: 6th

Subject/Topic Area: Language Arts / Persuasive Writing

Duration of Unit: 5 Days
Teacher: Dean Batten

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Established Goals:


3.2.6.A: Writing as a Process:

4. Use strategies such as graphic organizers and outlines to elaborate and organize ideas for writing. 9. Review and edit work for spelling, usage, clarity, organization, and fluency.  11. Use computer writing applications during the writing process.  12. Understand and apply the elements of a scoring rubric to improve and evaluate writing. 

3.2.6.B: Writing as a Product:

1. Expand knowledge of characteristics, structures, and tone of selected genres.  10. Write persuasive essays with clearly stated positions or opinions supported by organized and relevant evidence to validate arguments and conclusions, and sources cited when needed.  16. Review scoring criteria of relevant rubrics.


Students will understand that…

  • Any good argument must have strong support.
  • We must acknowledge other viewpoints.
  • Persuasive essays/letters follow a specific format.


Essential Questions:

  • What is an argument?
  • Who usually wins arguments?
  • Why do they win arguments, while others do not?
  • What makes a strong argument?
  • How many sides are there to most arguments?


Students will know….      

  • Which factors create a strong and successful argument.
  • How to set up a persuasive letter.




Students will be able to…

  • Properly format and write a persuasive letter.
  • Properly set up an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion paragraph.






                                              Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks:

Authentic Summative Assessment:

  • Students will write a Persuasive letter to the building principal.  The letter will be to convince the principal to keep gym class. 
  • Students’ essays will be grading using the NJ Holistic grading rubric.


Other Evidence:

Formative Assessment:

  • Access Prior Knowledge through KWL chart.
  • Students will be observed during the writing progress.
  • Students will be placed in small groups for peer editing and collaboration. 


                                                    Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:

  • Students will be told that they are no longer going to have gym because it is a waste of time during the school day.  (This will hopefully cause a bit of upset and brew a bit of an “argument.”) I will defend that fact that the school day should be for academics only and there is no need to run around because that can be done at home.  This should motivate and hook the students.  H
  • We will continue this discussion for a few moments, until I reveal that I was simply kidding them to make a point. T, E
  • The students will be told that they are going to learn the most important factors of a “good” argument.  We will create a KWL chart and discuss what they feel make a strong, good argument.  This will help access students’ prior knowledge. W, E
  • Students will be given the objectives for the unit and essay assignment they will be working on. W, T
  • As a class we will discuss how to set up a letter and create one together. O
  • Students will be asked to write a brief letter to me talking about what they did over the weekend.  This is only to have them independently practice writing a letter before moving onto the persuasive format. E
  • Students will watch a BrainPop video on types of writing.  We will focus on the persuasive writing type. W
  • Students will be given a sample persuasive letter.  We will discuss each of the paragraphs and the elements that make it up.  W, H, E
  • Students will be given the NJ Holistic Scoring Rubric and will discuss the various requirements and expectations.  R, W
  • As a class we will use the sample letter and rubric to assess and score the sample letter. E
  • Students will then begin to create their rough draft persuasive letters. T, O
  • Students will be monitored during the writing process. R, E, O
  • Students will be put into small groups to discuss, share, and peer edit their

letters. R, E, O

  • Students will draft their final copies of their letters.  They will use computers to word process. E
  • Student papers will be graded against the rubric and returned. E
  • The top three essays will be shared with the class by the student. H, E






Brainpop.com videos – www.brainpop.com