Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Persuasive Vegetables

Michelle Barlow


This lesson is intended as an introduction to persuasive writing. Students work in groups to write paragraphs that persuade others to eat or to not eat certain vegetables.


The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, letters to persuade or request, humorous or suspenseful stories to entertain, instructions to inform).


Day 1:
1. Chalk and chalkboard
2. Pencils and paper for students
3. Various cans of vegetables

Day 2:
1. Persuasive topics list for each child (see attached file)
2. Pencils and paper for students


Day 1:
Secure various cans of vegetables, paper and pencils for students.
Day2. Run a copy of the topics list for each child (see attached file), gather pencils and paper for students.


Day 1:
1. Write the word persuade on the chalkboard. Ask if anyone knows what persuade means. Discuss the meaning of persuade with the class. Ask if they can think of times when someone may try to persuade someone to do something. Write the examples on the board. Some good situations to use are: An officer persuading children to say no to drugs, a politician trying to persuade people to vote for them, a teacher trying to persuade her class to study for a test, and a dentist trying to persuade someone to brush their teeth.
2. After there are several examples listed on the board have the class help come up with points that someone might use if they were trying to persuade someone to do these examples. Explain that a person has to use strong reasons with support when trying to sway someone else's way of thinking.
3. Inform the class that they will be working together in small groups to write a persuasive paragraph.
4. Divide the class into small groups and give each group a can of vegetables.
5. Explain that the group should first decide if they want to persuade the rest of the class to eat the vegetable or to not eat it.
6. Once the groups have decided which angle they want to write from, have the groups make a list of ten reasons why someone should eat or not eat the vegetable (allow groups about ten minutes for this).
7. Circulate and help groups come up with ten reasons.
8. Once all of the groups have complied their lists, tell them to choose the three reasons they think are the most important and circle those three.
9. Explain to the class that the group is to write a paragraph that will persuade the rest of the class to either eat or not eat the vegetable. Tell the groups that they must include each of their three most important reasons in their paragraphs.
10. Circulate and assist students as needed.
11. Once the class is finished with their paragraphs, have a spokesperson from each group read the paragraphs aloud.
12. Discuss each group's paragraph to see if the group's paper was persuasive enough. Give structured feedback to the class on how they could strengthen their paragraphs to make them more persuasive.
Day 2:
1. Review Day 1's activites. Remind the class that a persuasive pargraph must have strong reasons with support in order to convince someone to do something.
2. Tell the students that they are going to get the chance to have some individual practice at writing a persuasive paragraph. Explain that you will pass out a list of topics for them to choose from (see attached file). Tell them they are to choose one topic and write a persuasive paragraph on it. Inform the class that you will be looking for at least three strong reasons with good support in their writing.
3. Allow students about 35 minutes to write their paragraphs.
4. When the class has completed their paragraphs, allow a few students to read aloud for feedback and discussion.
5. Collect all student's work to check for understanding and use as a guide for further instruction techniques.


This activity is meant to be assessed formatively. On day 1 the teacher should circulate and observe the groups to make certain they are writing to persuade. The class discussion on day one will also help the teacher determine the students' understanding so far. On day 2 the teacher should collect the classwork and use it to check for individual understanding of this concept. A teacher could repeat day 2 by having each child choose another topic from the list and write another persuassive paragraph. The assignment then may be used as a summative grade.


Modify this assignment for those who struggle by allowing more oral group work.
Extend by having students write speeches to persuade.
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