Colonial America Opinion Writing Unit: Persuasive Friendly Letter (PDF & Google Slides)
Students apply their knowledge of the Colonial Regions and Thirteen Colonies in order to make a colony recommendation to a potential immigrant. 30 character cards are included, so that each student can “help” a different character. Students read the character’s traits and goals, then analyze the information on the colonies to decide which colony would be the best fit for their “immigrant.”
The unit can be used as a summative assessment for Colonial America, as well as an opinion writing piece.
This unit integrates studying about the Colonial Regions and daily life in the 13 colonies with opinion writing. This resource includes mini-lessons that teachers can use or skip, depending upon the needs of their class.
This is a complete unit that includes everything but the suggested mentor text. (Two texts are recommended and teachers can find them at the library.) The unit is included in both PDF and Google Slides format.
Students begin by reviewing information on the three colonial regions and individual colonies. This works best if the class has just completed a study of Colonial America. A Colonial Regions Anchor Chart and note pages are included with an answer key in case they are needed.
Students then read the project direction page and receive a Character Card. They use a preplanning sheet to help them analyze the colonies, then they decide which colony is the best for their character.
Using a graphic organizer, students plan their thesis/opinion, their three reasons, support for the reasons, and their conclusion.
Once students have completed their preplanning, they learn about persuasive writing. The class reads the included lesson and Persuasive Language Starters/Stems, then read a mentor text. The class discusses how persuasive language was used in the text and completes an Anchor Chart.
Next, students review how to write a Friendly Letter with an Anchor Chart and begin their drafts.
A peer editing page is included in case teachers would like to take this piece through the writing process.
Other resources are included: Student Project Checklist, final copy paper, social studies rubric, and opinion writing rubric.
Everything needed to publish a final letter is included – just print and go! This resource includes:
Suggested Lesson Plan, including suggested mentor texts
Suggested Standards Covered
Anchor Chart (printable pieces) for Colonial Regions
Student Anchor Chart Page for Colonial Regions
Notes page for the Thirteen Colonies
Anchor Chart (printable pieces) for Persuasive Writing
Student Anchor Chart Page for Persuasive Writing
Mini-Lesson: Persuasive Writing
Persuasive Language Starters/Stems
Anchor Chart (printable pieces) for Friendly Letter
Student Anchor Chart Page for Friendly Letter
Project Direction Page
30 Character Cards
Making A Decision pre-planning page
Persuasive Writing Graphic Organizer
Peer Editing Page
Student Final Project Checklist
Final Copy paper (optional)
Social Studies Rubric
The length this lesson takes will depend upon how long students take to make their decision and write their letter. I estimate 2 – 3 weeks of 30 minutes sessions. Teachers should adapt this project as needed to fit their grade level and student ability-levels.