To Persuade

Oral Language Teaching Strategy:
Use Open-Ended Prompts Use open-ended prompts that invite thoughtful reflections and deeper responses.

Time: 20–25 minutes
Literacy Place for the Early Years big book But, Mom… by Tony Stead
– lady and girl puppets
Grouping: whole class and partners
Assessment: Use selected items from the Kindergarten Oral Language Assessment Scale for recording your observations.

Teaching Tip: Although But, Mom… is used for this lesson, you can use any age-appropriate text that demonstrates persuasion (e.g., Can I Have a Stegosaurus, Mom? Can I Please? by Lois G. Grambling or Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin). You may need to substitute some characters depending on puppet availability.


  • So how did Julia try to persuade her Mom that her music playing wasn’t too loud? She did give a reason. What about her voice? How would she say, “But, Mom….” Try it out

    Reread the Literacy Place for the Early Years Shared Reading book, But, Mom… with students and ask them to recall how Julia tries to persuade her Mom. Use open-ended prompts.
  • Introduce the lesson’s focus of using puppets to persuade. Explain that everyone is to think about using puppets to persuade people.

Setting a Purpose

  • Establish the purpose for listening and viewing. Ask students to retell But, Mom… with you and think about ways you try to persuade your Mom or Dad.


  • Use the puppets and retell the first page with appropriate actions and voice tones. Ask students to take turns retelling subsequent pages. Flip over the pages of the big book so that they can maintain the sequence of the story.
  • After the story has been retold, you may want to encourage the students to practise different types of voice tones they could use for persuasion, for example, Mom’s voice tones will be different from Julia’s. Try both! Which one might persuade people more? Why? Would Julia’s voice tones be different at the end of the book when she persuades her Mom to go to a movie? Try using that tone of voice.


  • Close your eyes and think about a time when you tried to persuade Mom and Dad. Whad did you want to do? How did you persuade them?

    Revisit the purpose for listening and viewing. Ask students to think of a time when they have tried to persuade their Mom or Dad about something.
  • When students have had a little thinking time, ask them to turn and talk to a neighbour about how they tried to persuade their mother or father.
  • As you observe the discussions, you may decide that one or two students could come and demonstrate their persuasive scene with puppets.
  • During centre time explain to students that they can play with puppets and pretend they are trying to persuade Mom and Dad, or somebody else, to do something.
  • Place But Mom…, with the accompanying audio recording in the centre so that students can retell the story with puppets.