Persuasive writing understanding through M.I.


5 – 8


poster paper, 50 – 75 minutes

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy:

  • Initiate student groups of 4 or 5.  Use a grouping strategy, or have a plan for random group membership; do not make the mistake of allowing students to group themselves, unless they have had frequent opportunities to work with anyone and everyone in the class.
  • Review class rules or expectations or agreements for expected behavior.
  • Have students share with one another:  What is something that you might need to persuade your parents to do…or let you do?


Content Standard: Understand how to write a persuasive composition.

Collaborative: Reflect on experience, think constructively

Personal: Develop personal strengths, explore challenges


IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Circular Curriculum (from the Artistry for Learning)

Use Direct Instruction to teach/review the components and steps for writing an effective persuasive paragraph or essay.

Students should be familiar with Multiple Intelligence theory, as well as their own Multiple Intelligence inventory results.

The task is for students in each group to collectively create a poster with all Intelligences represented.  Students can work together on different aspects, or take individual accountability and each contribute his/her own representation.  Students sign their name to the elements of the poster to which they contributed.  I may be helpful to require that students work on at least three different intelligences; they may work in pairs within the group. Be sure to have students sign their names to the appropriate parts (intelligences) represented on the poster.

*After students have success both with the group effort, and with exploring and developing multiple intelligences, you can use the circular curriculum for individual works (utilizing three or more intelligences).

Here is a suggested example of demonstrations of understanding, based on the multiple intelligences (also the student handout):



Logical/Mathematical: Make a timeline of steps, events leading up to convincing someone to try a new type of vegetable.

Linguistic/Verbal: Write a letter to a lawmaker, convincing him/her to lower the driving age to ____.

Musical/Rhythmic: Write a rap that outlines the components of a persuasive argument or develop a rhyme that has a beat to which one can recite the components of a persuasive argument.

Verbal/Spatial: Create a 4 – 6 frame comic strip that portrays a persuasive interaction.

Body/Kinesthetic: Role play a good persuasive argument and an ineffective persuasive argument.

Intrapersonal: Choose a real or hypothetical situation and write (or act out) your feelings of effectual or ineffectual persuasiveness

Interpersonal (Really, intra and inter-personal rely on and/or incorporate the other intelligences): Something like a sequence, where each person takes a step or provides an example…or just the fact that two or more people work on the task together…and take responsibility for presenting as a team/tribe

Naturalist: Choose two objects from nature that do not grow, interact, depend, etc. on one another…or one from nature and one that is man-made, and develop a scenario (written, acted, etc.) where one convinces the other or its importance and/or superiority.


Content: How did you choose your “intelligence” entries…based on your strengths, or based on your challenges? How was this demonstration of understanding more or less demanding than the traditional or usual summary or book report?

Collaborative: What did you enjoy about being able to work with someone else on any part of this project? How did you handle any disagreement?

Personal: Why is it important to recognize multiple intelligences? How can this influence you…in anything in life?


Invite statements after each presentation…or, if possible, use the strategy “Gallery Walk” to share and appreciate. Have students write to you (teacher) what they liked about this “demonstration of learning” experience.



Have students develop a rubric (they will need some experience here) and grade their own work (really helps if they view each others work first). Eventually, students can actually make up the specific “intelligence” suggestions and develop their own responses. (I actually got to the point where I could say “Give me three examples, using three different multiple intelligences, that demonstrates your knowledge of_____.”)



  • Group Development Process
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Reflective Practice
  • Authentic Assessment