Students will do formal writing in-class with teacher guidance
Lesson One: Halloween Journals
Read Halloween Experience essay 
Discuss sensory details/action verbs 
Write Halloween Experience journal entry 
Share Halloween Experiences in small groups 
Write the following definitions on the board:
Action verbs – a verb that expresses an action
Sensory details – a description of something using one of the 5 sense
Class begins with a group reading of a Halloween Experience essay. Each student will be given a copy and asked to read along. Teacher will ask students to:
make sparks on any connections
highlight any sensory details or action verbs
Teacher will read essay aloud. After reading, students will be first allowed to volunteer any sparks they wrote. Next, students will be called on to share the action verbs and sensory details they found.
Students will write journal entries, choosing one of the two topics:
Think of a time you had a happy or fun experience that relates to Halloween.
Think of a time you had a disastrous experience that relates to Halloween.
Students will write their experiences down in their journals. Focus should be on personal experience, using sensory details and action verbs to “show, don't tell.” These should be narratives, in first person.
Students will be asked to THINK/PAIR/SHARE after their journal entries – first to share them with groups, and then volunteers to share with the class. Students should also take notes during this part of the activity, on any details/ideas they might be able to incorporate in to their own written accounts.
Teacher will pass out 3 example articles about banning Halloween in various communities. The first will be read aloud by teacher, with the class reading along and highlighting anything they agree with or object to.
For the 2nd essay, teacher will once again read the essay aloud. This time, students will be asked to discuss in small groups anything mentioned in the article that they agree or disagree with. For the last essay, teacher will read aloud. Students will be asked to write a short paragraph on anything mentioned in the article that they agree or disagree with
Next, teacher will go over persuasive writing essay rubric with class. Students will be called on to read small sections aloud, with a quick summary by the teacher at the end. Students will then be given a model essay which they will read individually and grade with the given rubric. Teacher will call on students to share the scores they gave the essay, with reasons.
Homework: Students will be asked to pretend that their city is planning to ban Halloween this year. They will write a journal entry with 2 columns, 1 for reasons for banning Halloween and 1 for reasons for keeping Halloween. They must have at least 2 entries on each side.
Students will begin by sharing their homework in small groups.
After the activity, students will begin rough drafts of a letter in response to the following prompt:
The local county School Board is planning on banning Halloween in all public schools this year. Write a letter to the the board expressing your support of t or your opposition of their choice.
Students should use at least 2 examples from the column that they are choosing to write their letter on. They should also address a potential objection based on 1 example from their homework on the side they are choosing not to write on. Remind students to use personal examples and support them.
Remind students that their persuasive letters will be graded the same way they graded earlier essays.