Our final writing unit is meant to give our third graders an opportunity to write for a real world purpose, to create the changes they wish to see in the world. This unit is written specifically for third graders to help them channel all of their opinions into writing that can truly make a difference for themselves and those around them.
In the first part of the unit our third graders will learn how to gather bold and brave opinions by imagining how the world might be better while also looking at what is already beautiful. They spend time gather quick persuasive speeches in their notebooks and then choose an idea to take through to publishing.
In the second part they will work on gathering facts and details that support their opinion. Time will be spent on organizing these facts in a way that will persuade. Once they have completed these things they will publish their work through giving a speech.
The third part of this unit also ends with a published piece. However, this time we will study mentor texts (editorials, petitions, etc.) and determine how we can utilize some of these authors’ crafts in our own writing. The students will be the “captain” of their own writing, setting goals and working through the writing process to produce another opinion piece. We will set goals and plans to work on these goals to set the expectation that students should always want their work to be the highest quality possible. They will publish a written piece by the end of this third part.
Finally, students will form “Cause Groups” with other members of our class. They will work as a group around a cause, like recycling, animal rights, etc. These groups will decide on various projects they will have to create for this cause (speeches, petitions, editorials, etc.). The culminating celebration for this unit will include a digital publication.
To help your children at home point out problems you notice in your everyday life. It could be about how you notice that there is trash on the ground and you wish that more people would take the time to throw their trash in its proper place, people don’t hold the door open for you when you are right behind them and you wish they would, or how people don’t always return their library books on time so they aren’t there for you to check out. You could also notice great things in your life that you wish you could see more of like how you love when your child offers to help you with a chore at home, a co-worker helps you out with something you are struggling with, or neighbors smiling at you when you walk by them on the sidewalk.