I start every year with a very engaging persuasive writing assignment! We have to select an animal to “adopt” from the zoo! Our local zoo has about 5-6 “Adopt Specials” every year and the package includes a certificate, photo, stuffed animal, and informational sheet for a $65 adoption fee that goes towards animal enrichment. Here is the FREE link to the packet I use…feel free to use it to develop your own!
My kids had five animals to choose from this year –> the tiger, the sting ray, the white rhinoceros, the manatee, and the flying fox bat. They began the lesson by selecting the one that they personally wanted the class to adopt.
Once the animal was chosen, I gave each student an informational sheet from www.enchantedlearning.com (love this site!). This site is well worth the yearly fee, it has great informational pages for kids!
The students then fill out a “Bold Beginnings” sheet based on a poster I purchased from “Really Good Stuff” onto a sheet of notebook paper. The students use a sheet of notebook paper to write the different types of bold beginnings.
Using the bold beginnings they have come up with, students then use these to write their persuasive essays. Once the essays are written, they join up with other students who have chosen the same animal. They need to share the essays with the students in their groups. Once they have shared, students will choose one (or mix them to make one) to share with the rest of the class.
Each animal group then shares with the class and then everyone votes! This year we voted on the MANATEE!
Once the vote was done, I ordered a bunch of manatee books from Amazon! They had some great ones!
We will complete some additional activities on the Manatee to share with the rest of the school. These include a scale model using bulletin board paper, informational posters, clay models, advertisements, etc.