January 12, 2017
By Maggie Knutson

Lesson plan

Revising Your Persuasive Letter

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GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will apply revision strategies to strengthen and polish their persuasive letter.

(10 minutes)
  • Select an example of a persuasive letter. Make some revisions to the letter so that it is of poor quality (you may be able to do this on the fly), i.e. no reasons to support the argument, poor grammar, tone is not compelling, etc.
  • Read the letter to the class and ask students to share their feedback. How would they feel if they were the recipient -- would they be compelled to act? Why or why not?
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that a persuasive letter has a lot more power if it is well-written and polished. A persuasive letter tells the reader that you really care about the issue.
  • Project a copy of the Checklist for Persuasive Letters worksheet and go through a sample letter, projecting it as well. Model the editing/revision process by going through the letter and marking each item on the checklist as a class.
  • Demonstrate how to add comments so that the writer has a clear idea of what needs to be changed.
(10 minutes)
  • After going through the checklist, model how you would approach using this feedback on your revisions. Starting at the top of the document, go through a few issues that need to be addressed and make revision in the text or margins.
  • Demonstrate how to use the Sentence Frames for Persuasive Letters worksheet to improve the professional tone of the letter.
(30 minutes)
  • Distribute the Checklist for Persuasive Letters worksheet to the class.
  • Have students swap letters with a partner and go through the feedback process using the checklist. Remind them to be constructive and helpful in their comments.
  • When they receive their letter and checklist back from their peer reviewer, have them revisit their letter and make revisions based on the feedback.


  • Work with a small group at the back, going through the checklist and student writing together, addressing questions as you go.


  • Have students find data or other evidence that would support their request and have them include it in their letter. This could include getting quotes from people who are affected by the issue.
  • Invite students to type their letters on the computer if they drafted on paper.
  • Ask students to type up their persuasive letters on the computers using a word processing program.
  • Circulate the room to observe the revision process during independent writing time. Ensure that each student is providing thoughtful feedback. Checklists could be collected with letters.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to share examples of feedback that was very helpful.
  • Pose the following questions:
    • In what ways does peer review process improve writing?
    • Why is it important to have someone else review your writing?

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