Many teachers think argumentative and persuasive writing are the same. Some would go as far as to say that persuasive writing has just turned into argumentative because of Common Core (not true). And where does opinion writing fall into all of this?

First of all, if you are a 1st-5th grade teacher, Common Core only expects students to master writing opinion pieces and work on short research projects. Argumentative writing does not come into play until 6th grade. Oh and those research projects students do in 1st-5th, you better believe those skills come into play when students start writing argumentatively in the upper grades! The graphic below describes the differences between opinion, persuasive and argumentative writing.

As you can see argumentative writing relies a lot more on reasoning and evidence which comes from a lot of in-depth annotation of articles.

Persuasive writing does not necessarily require all that much research. Opinion writing is the foundation for both. I also believe that opinion writing is dull! Persuasive writing requires an audience and can include debates which can be motivating and fun for students.

Just because persuasive writing is not mentioned in the Common Core doesn’t mean teachers should write it off entirely!

The units below make learning these skills FUN and RELEVANT for your students!

Common Core is designed to build upon skills learned from previous grades and this is very obvious when comparing the opinion and argumentative writing standards W.1, W.2, W.3.1.A, W.4.1.A, & W.6.1 Check it out…

1st Grade-Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion and provide some sense of closure.

2nd Grade- Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

3rd Grade-Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

4th Grade-Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
5th Grade-Exact same as 4th EXCEPT: 4th-Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. 5th Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

6th Grade-Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Here are some writing prompts for each type of writing…


What is the best book you ever read or movie you’ve ever seen?
What is your favorite animal?

What is your favorite food?

What are the most important qualities in a best friend?

Who is your hero?

Convince your parents to buy you a new toy or get a new pet.
Convince your teacher to let the class watch a movie on Friday.

Convince your principal to change the homework policy at your school.

Convince your mayor to build a new park in your neighborhood.

Convince the President to come visit your town.

Should schools go completely digital?

Is social media out of control?

Should kids be allowed to wear whatever they want?

Should certain animals have the same rights as humans?

Is climate change real?

I hope I cleared up some things for you! If so please feel free to share this post out by clicking one of the purple social media buttons below!


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