Firstly, we wrote down everything we currently know about how to save water and the effect on ourselves, animals and the environment if we fail to do so. We have placed this information on posters around our room and will add to them or adapt them as our understanding grows.
Next, we used our knowledge of saving water to persuade. We split into two groups for an activity called 'Conscience Alley'. For this activity, each group argues for or against the point. The opinion of every individual counts so they must work well as a team. The teams create two lines, with one child walking slowly through the alley they create. As the child walks, individuals in each team state the reasons why it is important to save water or why it is not important. When the child gets to the end, they make a decision based on who has been most persuasive. We carried this activity out three times and each time the arguments for saving water were most persuasive, although some individuals arguing against saving water were praised by their peers for being particularly persuasive, often thinking outside of the box to put forward insightful arguments.
Then we moved away from the water saving theme in order to hone our persuasive skills, by taking part in small group debates. Each child in a group was given a role to take on, they were provided with information about their characters' families, jobs and personality traits. Their task was to imagine that a hot air balloon was going to fly them away from a desert island. However, the weight of all eight people would be too great, so one or two people would have to stay behind. The children applied their persuasive techniques skilfully to explain why they deserved a place on the hot air balloon.
When everyone had argued their case, they began to state the reasons why others should not be allowed on the balloon. The children worked very hard and voted democratically, clearly deciding based on the most effective arguments.
Finally, some more information was provided about the characters, including their less positive traits! The children then debated once more after reflecting on this new information.
This week, we have been continuing to learn some more persuasive skills. We have been looking at statistics, disguising opinion as fact, rhetorical questions, exclamation, exaggeration, repetition and alliteration, amongst others.
Be prepared for your child's newly discovered persuasive powers! 99.9% of people agree that they are very effective. Who could argue with that?