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Activity and strategy

Persuasive Writing and the Importance of Braille

Writing persuasive friendly letter to student losing sight about benefits of braille.

Unit: Persuasive writing assignment in letter writing format


  • Graphic organizer: outline format
  • Friendly letter
  • Transition words
  • Compound/complex sentence
  • Providing details/evidence to support your viewpoint
  • Audience: who you are writing to

Lesson Objective(s):

Student(s) will (using a real life situation and to be shared with a student who is losing his/her sight):

  • Plan using a graphic organizer (use outline format)
    • Topic provided….Why Learning Braille is Important
    • Create a topic sentence “hook” statement for introduction paragraph
    • List 3-5 reasons why learning braille is important
      • List 2 details to support each reason
  • Create a topic sentence for the concluding paragraph
  • Write first draft of letter
    • Introduction paragraph with “hook statement”
    • Body (multiple paragraphs). varies with each students)
      • Support reasons with detail
      • Support reason with examples
    • Concluding paragraph, summarizing your ideas
    • Use transition words
    • Use at least one compound/complex sentence
    • Use proper friendly letter format
  • Braille paper
  • Perkins brailler
  • Computer (desktop or laptop) with JAWS screen reading software
  • Braille template of outline 
  • List of transitional words
  • Friendly letter template
  • Example of letter
Sample persuasive letter
Click to download this sample persuasive letter.

Anticipatory Set: (5 minutes)

Student(s) comes into class to find a “challenge” at his/her seat for which the student(s) will only have 4 minutes to write/share his/her response:

  • “How would you survive without braille?”
  • Write a short response answer of at least 3 sentences, or
  • Share with your partner in the next three minutes your ideas

Lesson Delivery: (30 minutes)

  1. Explain the objective and agenda for the class period: Students will plan and write a persuasive letter (first draft) to the situation provided (Tell student(s) that this is a real life application and that the letter will be given to a student who is losing his vision and needs to learn braille.)
  2. Model outline (planning phase) by using example prepared ahead of time (outlining graphic organizer previously taught)
  3. Give students 6 minutes to plan their persuasive letter
  4. Model proper friendly letter format using example prepared ahead of time
  5. Explain to students specifics as to what must be included in persuasive letter (friendly letter and persuasive writing previously taught)
    • Proper letter format
    • Explain why the challenge  was given at the beginning of class
    • Include at least 1 compound/complex sentence
    • Read example of persuasive friendly letter
    • Students begin writing first draft with remaining 20-25 minutes
    • Wrap up lesson by students completing last thought on computer
  6. Use of transitional words (give students copy of a list of transitional words)

Closure (Related to objective): (5 minutes)

  • Student(s) will answer the following question to me or each other:
    • Do you think your “hook” statement will encourage the reader to continue reading your letter? Explain your answer by giving one detail/example.

Other Foundational Skills:

  •     Familiarity with graphic organizers
  •     Experience writing friendly letters
  •     Identifies transition words
  •     Uses compound/complex sentences
  •     Can support viewpoint with evidence

Differentiating instruction:

  • Differentiation will be completed by the use of alternative formats for recording responses…Perkins brailler and screen reading software with computer.
  • The level of difficulty and expectations will match the student’s ability to complete the task. For example, a student who needs more time to process or plan for the writing activity may have a reduced number of reasons/examples.
  • Providing a template of an outline (pre-numbered–may be given to students who have difficulty lining up numbers and letters that appear in an outline) and/or friendly letter template.
  • Extended time (multiple days or using a study hall) will be given for those who need more time.
  • Providing more guided practice or examples may also be needed for struggling students…difficulty getting started or thinking of ideas on their own…probing techniques.

Monitoring the students during writing:

Overseeing student work while in the process of completing the assignment will be done. I may ask questions such as:

  • Does this example fit the situation?
  • Can you provide more details, or another example?
  • Does your friendly letter format match the template?
  • Did you proofread for mistakes? (If student has completed the task before others.)
  • Is your introduction a “hook?” or Will this grab the attention of the reader?
  • Have you summarized your thoughts in your letter?
  • Do you think that the reader will want to learn braille after reading your letter? (This is the ultimate goal of this assignment. Having the reader be persuaded to learn braille is key in a successful letter.)

Common Core and Braille Standards


W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

W.7.1b Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

W.7.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W.7.2c Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

W.7.2f Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

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