"Bless, Address, or Press"
While reading my peers posts, I found one that was written by Shawna Wright about the persuasive genre that we had done together for our genre presentation. In part of her blog she wrote:
"Nippold, Ward-Lonergan, and Fanning would agree with Tompkins
about many things. They agree that persuasion is used everyday regardless
of age or where one lives. Even young children use verbal persuasion
to prove to their parents they should be able to stay up later. In fact, when
asked to generate an example of persuasion for our presentation I was
thinking to myself "How in the world am I going to find an example!"
I learned quickly that I have a ton! Even last month I created a
persuasive PowerPoint presentation to persuade my fiance to wear
grey tuxes at our wedding :)"
I thought that this was an exceptionally great example of how we were all feeling as a group when thinking of what persuasive writing is and what are the best ways in which it should be taught (and not to mention what grade level to begin). I too realized that I write persuasively on a regular basis. It is not always through the form of an essay or speech, but many of my examples are informal texts and conversations in which I am trying to persuade my daughter to come home early so I can go to bed. I write letters when I am angry and feel as though I need to get my point across to someone. Writing allows me the time to reflect on my thoughts prior to writing them down whereas conversation does not always afford those opportunities to think and reflect before you say something. I also have conversations when I feel very strongly toward a particular subject and am not willing to give in to the conversation or other persons side until I have persuaded at least one person to see things the same way that I do.
The research I had studied for this project focused on how we should utilize conversation as a means of scaffolding persuasive writing instruction. Even young children can engage in conversation at a young age when they feel strongly about a subject. Just ask a five year old why he should have a birthday. My niece wanted a bounce house for her fifth birthday party and a clown. Just a reminder here that she was only five...She took it upon herself to go online and get some prices of bounce houses to rent and what the cost would be. She even printed out pictures. She came up with a list of reasons she should have the bounce house at her party. She was still too young to be able to come up with answers to the negatives that would be brought up, but even with what she had researched and done showed that she was able to engage in conversational persuasion.
Personally, after reading the research, listening to my own students, gaining feedback from all of our peers, I think persuasive reading/writing can and should be taught in the younger grades. Readers Theatre could be a great way to help students experience and come to an understanding of opposing view points, creating contrasting drawings that depict the multiple viewpoints, and read alouds as well as many others. There are many books available at the P and M levels to demonstrate this type of writing as well.