The Nature of Happiness: Culminating Activity

  • Download Lesson Plan

    Students create a persuasive writing piece using one of the following prompts.  They can choose to write an essay, a letter, an article, a speech, or create a multi-media project using the persuasive writing format.



    Note: Find more prompts at



    Before beginning other activities, have students choose or find a prompt they identify with.

    • Imagine that you and your neighbors and friends feel a statue should be erected honoring someone. Explain to the mayor or community why the statue should be erected.
    • Think about a class not currently available that you would like your school to offer. Write a letter to your principal identifying the new class and provides strong reasons for including it in your school’s curriculum.
    • There should be a computer game room at school.
    • The first lesson of school every day should be an exercise class.
    • All students should volunteer in their community once every week.
    • Students who commit cyber-bullying should be suspended from school. Yes or no? Why?
    • The voting age should be lowered to age 13.
    • People should only be allowed to drive their cars 4 days a week to minimize pollution.
    • Humans are living longer, to the point where we may become immortal in the future. Would living forever be a good thing? Argue your point of view.
    • Mathematics class is more important than music class. Yes or no? Why? 
    • Driving tests should be mandatory every year after you are 65 years old.

Learning Activities

  • Activity 1: Persuasive Writing Paragraph (Review)
    At this level, students merely state and support their opinions. For example, students may believe that dogs make the best pets because they are loyal, or cats make the best pets because they are soft and fluffy. After giving their reasons, students write a conclusion, restating their opinion. After completing the template, have students combine their sentences into a paragraph.
    Activity 2: Persuasive Writing Presentation

    Present and discuss the presentation with the students.

    Available in PowerPoint or PDF.

    Activity 3: Writing the Hook

    Students complete the worksheet on an example of their choice.

    Worksheet and Example

    Activity 4: Persuasive Writing Examples 

    Present and discuss these effective and ineffective writing examples.

    Effective in Word and PDF.  Ineffective in Word and PDF.

    Activity 5: Persuasive Writing Graphic Organizer

    Present and discuss the example.  After, students use the blank copy to fill in for their own persuasive writing project.

    Example. Blank in Word and PDF.

Project Activities

  • Activity 1: First Draft

    Students write their first draft and edit for mechanics, grammar, and style.

    There are several online checkers students can copy and paste their drafts to check for mechanics and grammar (not always style). and are two of them. 

    Grammarly is a powerful checker and offers a Chrome extension.

    Tip: As students are writing, they often get stuck on a word they are unsure of spelling.  Instead of allowing that to stall their progress, have them circle the word and continue writing.  When they're finished, they can make a list of the words and consult a dictionary.

    Activity 2: Feedback

    The student reads his/her piece to a peer or group.  Afterward, students have a conversation about how the piece affected the audience.  The audience can use the graphic organizer to help generate responses and feedback.

    Activity 3: Final Draft

    Students write and turn in their final draft.

    Activity 4: Publishing

    There are many ways to publish your students’ writing. One way is to share it with the world by posting it on your own teacher website. Other great ideas include:

    Have students create a 60-second video commercial designed to convince others of their views.  Sites like Adobe Spark allow them to create videos online.

    Have the student mail the paper to the person or organization addressed in the writing. Have the student request a formal response.

    Students can use multimedia to create an interactive version of their argument using graphics, photos, and recordings and post it to the web. 

    Host a debate with different students taking opposing viewpoints.

    Contact your local or school paper to request that they publish the students' persuasive writing essays, or have students turn their essay into a “letter to the editor.”