Skip to content

Persuasive Writing for a Real Purpose

This year, our persuasive writing unit fulfills Grade 4 and 5 curriculum expectations in Writing, Grade 4 expectations in the Science strand "Habitats and Communities," and Grade 5 expectations in the Social Studies strand "First Nations Heritage and Identity" (turtle symbolism)... plus, as a bonus, our writing may save the lives of some turtles! In consultation with staff from the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, we are writing letters intended to persuade companies to support the centre.


The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, in Peterborough, is a twelve year old Canadian registered charity that rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild over 1,000 turtles per year. The centre also engages in wild and released turtle population research, conservation initiatives such as establishing "eco-passages" that allow turtles to cross under busy roadways, and education outreach.

After students' persuasive letters are graded, and writer strengths and "next steps" identified, the letters will be forwarded to the to the turtle hospital. Staff there will include student-authored letters with applications for support from companies.

We began the project by educating ourselves about Ontario turtles, and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. Seven out of eight species of Ontario turtles are at risk!



These videos and websites provide a good overview:


Based on what we learned, we brainstormed information about the role of turtles, why Ontario turtles are at risk, the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre and how people can help. This is what we came up with:


Next, we discussed the elements that make a good persuasive letter and agreed upon the following success criteria (click on the photo to enlarge it):


Then, we began planning our letters and authoring first drafts (click on any photo to enlarge it):

After drafts were edited by peers, students began to write good copies of their letters and draw pictures of Ontario turtles on them (click on any photo to enlarge it):

Students are taking great care with this project.  In a future BLOG post, we will share the final products!

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black): or to add a comment to this page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar