The Power of Persuasion

Posted on May 8, 2013 in English

This week, we are learning about persuasive language. This is a powerful form of writing which can cause people to change their minds or take action.

We have been practicing persuasive techniques such as repetition, rhetorical questions, exaggeration, inclusive phrases and emotive words. We are learning to balance this language with factual evidence. We always try to give a point, reason, evidence or examples, then re-state our point (PREP).

Together, we wrote this memo to Ms O’Dwyer. We tried to make it really emotional and convincing.

And guess what? It worked! She has agreed to give us a 1-week homework holiday, on account of our excellent persuasive writing. Read our work below:

 

 

 

Cancel our Homework! Cancel our Stress!

Grade 4 students are terribly stressed. Every night we are trapped under a mountain of homework. We work hard all day and then at night we work like slaves to finish our homework. Is this how you want us to live?

We are certain that Grade 4 should not have homework because we have many other commitments. For example, most of us have at least 3 hours per night of academy homework. Others have extra homework given by our parents. On top of that, we still have chores to do, such as clearing the table, washing dishes and laundry. On other days, we have religious festivals and family celebrations. If visitors come to our house, we also have to help prepare food and play with their children. How are we expected to fit in our homework? It is impossible for us to manage all these commitments.

In addition, homework interrupts our sleep and causes stress. Imagine sitting at your desk night after night until after 9pm. Our parents won’t let us go to bed until all our work is done. This causes arguments, fights and stress in our lives. Experts say that children need at least 8 hours of sleep each night in order to concentrate and have enough energy for the next day. Don’t you want students who are sharp, alert and ready to learn? Homework only makes us more sleepy and stressed each day.

Finally, Grade 4 needs less homework and more free time. Everyone knows that children need time to play with friends, exercise and enjoy hobbies. This is essential for stress release, health and social skills. Do you want us to be narrow-minded students, who only know about spelling, grammar and times tables? Or do you want us to be balanced, caring people who have many interests and skills?

So, please don’t let homework ruin our lives. We trust that you want students who are well-rested and happy. Cancel the worksheets. Cancel the spelling list. Cancel the stress!

By Grade 4

Task Description:
This text was constructed jointly with the students and teacher. Each student brainstormed ideas and these were combined into 3 key reasons. Then, each student wrote individual paragraphs and conferenced with the teacher. Finally, the students combined their ideas and sentences into a class text. The focus was on teaching persuasive language techniques, such as rhetoric, repetition and exaggeration to convince an audience.

 

Stay tuned to read our environmental essays!

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2 Comments

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  1. Dr. Zilber

    Dear Grade 4, once again you ‘nailed it.’ That was a very persuasive essay. No wonder Mrs. O’Dwyer gave you a week off homework. You made a good ‘case’ against homework. These skills of persuasion are very important in life. You can use them in speaking and in writing. They are powerful and will lead to your success in all areas of your life- personal(at home), social (with friends) and professional (at school). ACtually, i have an idea of how to use your skills of persuasion for school improvement.
    Well done, Dr. Ettie Zilber

  2. Benedict Lim

    Dear Ms O’Dwyer,

    It was fun writing the persuasive essay. It was better when we had 1 week free from homework! It was fun and exciting. It was relaxing with a no-homework-week because I could actually play with my friends from 5pm – 7 pm! When I get homework I can only play from 5pm – 5.30pm. And then i need to go do my homework. It was a fun week for me. Thank you Ms O’Dwyer for letting us write the essay and persuading you to give us 1 week free of homework!

    From Benedict