Friday, April 15, 2011

Fourth grade language arts: writing persuasive paragraphs

Writing paragraphs: Persuasive

By fourth grade your child will be expected to write paragraphs. He will even be expected to write the five paragraph essay by the end of fourth grade. The first type of paragraph, and eventually essay, that your child will be expected to write is the persuasive paragraph. Writing a persuasive paragraph is not as hard as you might think. The purpose of it is to convince others about the subject of the paragraph. It is possible to see persuasive writing in a lot of places. Commercials are an example of persuasive writing. There is a sort of formula to persuasive writing. Your student will state an issue, say to convince the city to improve a local park. Then your student will state factual reasons why the park should be improved. There should be more than one reason and those reasons should not be opinion. For example, the student could state that neighborhoods that surround parks that are improved and well maintained have lower crime rates. The student would have had to do research to be able to make that statement, research that would show the connection. Finally, the student would leave the reader of the paragraph with either an action item, something to go and do, or a persuasive thought, and idea that would encourage the reader to think more on, and to consider the proposed idea. This method will work for a paragraph or a five paragraph essay.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Independence!

Independence!
Have you discovered your fourth grader becoming more independent? It would be great if that happened over night, wouldn’t it? Well, maybe not. Your fourth grader becoming more independent is a learning and growing process. Just like your baby “cruised” along the furniture, then held your fingers and toddled, then let go and took tentative stops, walked and then ran. Independence is a lot like that. Your child will want to do a few things on their own. It is not a clear step from total dependence on parents to being independent. It is important that your fourth grader has friends outside the home, because those friends will be the ones who help your child to take step away from parents and toward the world. For many children, up until about the fourth grade, their friends were their friends, and gender was not important. Around the fourth grade year, it becomes more important that your child have friends of the same gender. Around this age some children begin to see the very first beginnings of the onset of puberty. With that comes interests, similarities and differences that make having friends of the same gender more comfortable, and friends of the opposite gender more awkward. It is all a normal part of the road to independence.