Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Hat and Persuasion writing

Part of our writing curriculum in first grade (and in the Common Core) is opinion writing. This is a painful process for first graders. We have just finished our mandated writing task for the month of "Who is your favorite character and why" and I felt that I wanted to expose the children to a real persuasion writing experience. I was also very excited about this because in these days of blogs (which I LOVE) and Pinterest (which I also LOVE) I felt that I was not creating many original activities.

We started by reading Jan Brett's book The Hat. We read this 2 times so that the children were familiar with the story. The second time through, I started planing the idea that Hedgie was trying to convince the other animals that he had chosen the sock as a hat for many great reasons. So begins the discussion of persuasion.
I introduced the concept of persuasion and I posed the following question: What would make a good hat for Hedgie? They had a ton of ideas! The hard part was the second part of the assignment. They had to come up with 3 reasons WHY their item would make a good hat.
I designed an idea web for the kids to use to organize their ideas. See below!
The Hat Idea Web

We did a "sloppy copy" with some editing for spelling, capitals and punctuation and they copied their good copy onto the paper below.
The Hat Writing Paper

They did an EXCELLENT job on this writing piece. The fun part came at the end when they had to design their object into an actual hat for our hedgies. Below are a few of the great ideas!

A pot would make a good hat.
A raspberry would make a good hat.
An acorn top would make a good hat.
A rose would make a good hat.
A (you guessed it) popcorn bucket would make a good hat.
Sheep's wool would make a good hat.

I am so proud of this assignment!

The kids did a GREAT job and it went very smoothly. If you try it, PLEASE let me know how it goes!

Bee the Change~


  1. This is a great idea, Lori. I think I might try it. Thanks!
    Grade ONEderful

  2. Yippee! We just read the hat today and I was trying to figure out how to structure a writing activity. Thanks so much.

    First in Maine