“When I was young, Weetabix came in eight different shapes.”
“Before they can fight, superheroes have to pick out all the noises their punches and kicks will make.”
“One in ten fish are afraid of water.”
Andy Riley’s book, Great Lies to Tell Small Kids has long been a favourite of mine. Now I know that lying to children is wrong, but sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s rather productive! However, it isn’t this book that inspired this post, but the answers to a question on our Facebook page, “What scenarios have you used to generate great enthusiasm and brilliant persuasive writing?”
And that’s where the lies, lies and damned lies began, all in the name of improving writing! So thanks all for your suggestions and ideas, we’re sharing them here for everyone:
Great lies to tell children Persuasive writing prompts:
Bookworms – The Reading Shack – Last year I “sent ” a memo to our year 6 classes saying that the governors had decided to introduce a tie and shirt to the school uniform instead of the polo shirts we currently have, effective for all pupils from the next half term. The memo said the “governors” believed that standards of attainment would improve if children were dressed more formally. It was printed out on headed paper. The children were indignant and off their own back wanted to reply to the governors which was really convenient because we just happened to be practising our persuasive letter writing ( what’s the chance of that, eh?) They wrote some very well thought out and persuasive letters. I was rumbled by a few pupils but managed to get the task done before confessing.
Clare Taylor – We started by using Cinderella (as they all knew the story) so we could debate and persuade the stepmother to let Cinders go to the ball. From that we wrote a persuasive letter to the headteacher asking for a party as a reward for hard work – they were really good. We finished the unit of work with a link to our cross curriculuar topic of Coventry, by making persuasive leaflets.
Rémi Gonthier – Tell the class that an exciting forthcoming trip has been cancelled by the headteacher or somebody else and then encourage them to write a letter.
Jessica Owens – A ‘letter’ arrived from the council telling the children that the school field was about to have a by-pass built over it. Discussion and issues ranged from fears for wildlife to “where will we have sports day?!”
Louise Dobson – I saw one of the shopping channels recently and thought that they are a really good example of persuasive language. Children could watch some extracts and then create their own item to sell (a magnificent cleaning tool or jewellery, or whatever). Then they could demonstrate it and ‘sell’ it shopping channel style. Also, I remember a course where they encouraged us to write persuasion creatively. I wrote as the sea tempting a child to paddle in it. Children could write in role as: the super sleek car trying to persuade the customer to buy it, or the sun trying to persuade the crocus to flower…’feel my warmth across your soft cheeks…’ cheesy but fun!
Paula Lathan – I sent a letter to our head asking him to ban playtimes. Children had to write to him to persuade him to keep playtimes. We put them in envelopes and walked to the post box to post them. Our head then replied to each and every one.
Chloe Whittall – I Wanna Iguana (also on you tube) is a great book for persuasive writing. My class read this then wrote letters to their parents requesting things like a holiday to the Bahamas. We also walked to the post box and sent the letters to their parents (year 6 class).
Bernadette O’Rourke – Banning junk food – was great as the horse meat scandal was all over the media and we linked it with processed food
Clair Coupe – I once taught a lesson where I made a mock letter from the head. The letter said how he was going to have to cancel anything Christmas related due to us having so much to fit in during the last 2 weeks of term. It worked really well and all the children got involved.
Please do add any other ideas you have in comments, with grateful thanks to those shared here by our Facebookers
Charlotte Reed – Primary English Consultant and teller of white lies to children