Text-Type Writing Study: Persuasive—Stating Reasons

A basic part of any persuasive argument is providing a reason for your viewpoint or action. This brief text-type writing study focuses on stating reasons so that ‘I pick up my litter’ is supported by a reason, e.g., ‘I pick up my litter because I want to keep the world clean.’ Students can apply their learning about caring for the world by persuading other people to take care of it too.


Time: approximately 15 minutes (Can be combined with Pre-assessment)
Grouping: whole class
Materials: Clean Up Litter poster

  • We have to think about telling people the reasons why we need to take care of nature, animals, plants, and trees.

    Explain to students that they’ve learned a lot about caring for our world, and now they need to think about persuading other people to take care of it too.
  • The poster says to do something—’pick up litter’—and then tells us why. What reason does it give? I see that ‘pick up litter’ is followed by other reasons. What are they?

    Reread the poster with the class and then focus on the ‘Do Your Part’ box to discuss giving reasons.
  • If it had just said, “pick up litter” would that have been okay? How does giving reasons help?

    Ask students why they think the poster gives three reasons for picking up litter. (persuades us, says it makes sense to do this)

2. PRE-ASSESSMENT (Optional)

Time: approximately 20 minutes
(Can be combined with Immersion into the Text Type)
Grouping: individuals and partners
Materials: chart paper and markers

  • Remind students that they’ve looked at reasons for cleaning up litter in the schoolyard.
                Pick up litter because
                – it keeps our world clean

    Do you think it’s important to clean up your bedroom? Why do you think that?

                – it stops animals from eating garbage it makes our
               schoolyard beautiful

    Ask them if it is important to clean up their bedrooms at home.
  • Ask students to write and/or draw a reason for cleaning up their bedrooms. You can circulate through the classroom and write down what students would like printed on their drafts.

Supporting Writers: Give students an opportunity to share their thinking with a partner before recording their thoughts.

Extending Writers: Encourage students to record more than one reason if they have more ideas.

  • If you choose, assess each student’s response using the Assessment Rubric for Stating Reasons to identify levels of key skills and understanding. Look for common needs among students to help plan future instructions and demonstrations to strengthen students’ existing knowledge.


Time: two sessions of approximately 20 minutes each
Grouping: whole class
Materials: chart paper and markers

Choose a Topic
  • Focus on a shared experience as a topic for writing, for example, taking care of the plants you may have started while reading Somebody Cared for a Flower.
Setting a Purpose for Writing
  • Tell students that you will all work together to persuade people to take care of plants.
  • Let’s think of some ways we can take care of plants.

    Ask students what they need to do to take care of their plant. Write notes on chart paper and scribe students’ ideas, e.g., good soil, water, sunlight (turn each day to face the sun).


  • Ask students to meet with a partner or small group and come up with reasons for taking care of their plant.
  • Share reasons as a class, e.g., ‘I take care of it because I want it to grow.’ ‘I water it because it needs water to live.’ ‘I turn it to face the sun because it needs to grow straight.’ ‘I take care of it because I’m responsible for it.’

Supporting Writers: You may need to provide a supportive structure for a few students, e.g., I put it in the sun because… and offer prompts such as, ‘How does that help the plant? Why does it need the sun?’

Extending Writers: Some students may have several statements with reasons. Tell them they can write several when they write their own reasons, but now they should choose their best statement and reason so that many students’ ideas can be included.


You want to say ‘I water it because then I’ll be able to eat the bean.’ Help me and write down ‘I.’ Where will you start writing? I’ll write down ‘water’ and you try ‘it.’

Write the Statements
  • As the students give you their reasons, scribe them on chart paper. Share the pen with them occasionally and weave in prompts for writing concepts. Vary your prompts to meet the range of writing development demonstrated in your classroom.

Supporting Writers: Ask students needing support to demonstrate concepts such as where to start writing, and predicting a letter from the sound at the beginning of a word.

Extending Writers: Writers ready for extension may be able to share the pen and write down a word or phrase, and engage in movement to the next line.

  • Also weave in comments to the inclusion of reasons in persuasive writing. Prompts that may help include:
    • ‘Because’ is a useful word when you are giving a reason.
      It goes before the reason.
    • What comes first? (the action, e.g., taking care, watering)
    • Is your reason true or is it about how you feel?
      You can say how you feel too.
    • Does that reason make me want to do it? (Persuade me.)


  • Reread the statements and reasons with the students.

Extending Writers: Revisions, beyond rereading the modelled/shared draft, are not expectations for most kindergarten students. However, you may decide to work with more advanced writers in a small group and encourage them to add more details to the reasons.

Consider the following revision concepts for this group:

  • adding ideas to the statements and reasons
  • adding more statements and reasons
  • putting the statements in a better order, e.g., clustering the statements and reasons about watering or providing sunlight
  • deleting repetitious reasons
  • changing words, e.g., Are there any better words we could use?

Show students how to make changes and model your own thought processes as you make changes (e.g., “I’ll put green dots by each of the sentences about watering plants and then I’ll know I need to put them together.”)


Extending Writers: Editing is not an expectation for most kindergarten students. If you decide a few students need extending into editing, consider working on simple editing conventions.

Check the use of capital letters and periods in sentences on the poster (e.g., ‘Do Your Part’ section). Look for capital letters at the beginnings of sentences, and for periods at the ends. Ask students to help you check these punctuation conventions in the writing (e.g., “Find the first word in your sentence. Now look for the first letter in that word. Does it have a big [capital] letter?”).


Make a Final Copy
  • Write a final version of the sentences on chart paper and reread with the students.
  • Ask students to add pictures to match some, or all, of the sentences.
Reflect on Statements
  • Take a few minutes to reflect on the statements and reasons with the students. As many students may be unable to read the sentences independently, you will likely need to read one or two at a time and arrange a Think-Pair-Share format for responses. Offer prompts:
    • Were these strong reasons? Why or why not?
    • Would this persuade you to do the same thing?


Time: approximately 15 – 30 minutes (including time for sharing)
Grouping: whole class and individuals
Materials: paper, crayons, and pencils for students


  • Tell students they will be writing their own statements and reasons.
    Write three topics on the board.

    Looking after
    Looking after plants
    and trees
    Keeping the world
  • Sketch small pictures under each heading so that students are supported in their recognition of the topics.
  • If I choose ‘Looking after animals’ I might say, “I give food to my dog because I want him to be healthy and strong.” What might you write if you choose ‘Keeping the world clean’?

    Ask students to choose one topic and write a statement with a reason. Remind them by providing an example for each.
  • You might ask students to first draw a picture of their statement with its reason as drawing can often help to clarify ideas.


Writing Statements and Reasons
  • Ask students to write down their ideas, and circulate offering support.
  • If they haven’t already drawn pictures to illustrate their writing, they could be invited to do so now.

Supporting Writers: Form a small guided-writing group for students needing extra support. Remind students that they can draw pictures, write letters with pictures, and try words.

If students need even more support, you may consider scribing their ideas with frequent rereading to see if they wish to make additions or clarify points. Alternatively, you could provide a framed sentence, e.g., “We need to pick up litter because….” Choose a topic that you have provided examples for in previous lessons.

Extending Writers: Encourage these writers to add additional statements with reasons. Help them to revise their sentences, and to edit by checking beginning and end punctuation in sentences. Remind them about how you revised and edited during the whole-class modelled/shared writing session, if you did so.


Time: approximately 15 minutes
Grouping: small groups

  • Divide the class into small groups and encourage them to share their writing and pictures with group members.
  • Create a display of writing, and encourage students to read the pieces.


Time: 10 minutes if done as a class, or a few minutes per child if done in centres (Suggest self-evaluations be done during centre time when you can circulate and scribe for individuals.)
Grouping: whole class and individuals
Materials: Self-Assessment BLM and Assessment BLM

Reflection and Self-Evaluation
  • Ask students to reflect on their writing using the Self-Assessment: Stating Reasons BLM, e.g., What did I do well? Did I give a good reason?
  • Asking for oral responses may be the best option. You may decide to choose a few students to fill in the BLM for each writing study, as you will likely have to read it aloud and scribe the student’s response. You may also decide to ask just one question, i.e., “What did I do well?”
  • Using the Assessment Rubric for Stating Reasons, document each student’s
    growth in writing reasons to support statements, noting the skills and understandings that he or she is demonstrating. If you had students write a
    Pre-asessment piece, compare it with the student’s final stated reasons to
    assist you in noting areas of growth.