Teaching Mythology Writing Activities – Argumentative Essays for Kids

What are some fun mythology writing activities? Surprisingly, argumentative texts fit perfectly. Just ask kids to argue which god should be invited to dinner. Or persuade others to vote for a character for president.

Ms. Sneed Looks for a Mythology Writing Activity

As our favorite fourth grade teacher continued to plan her mythology unit, she clicked around on her laptop. “Mythology writing activity,” she typed. Hmmm. Most of what she found related to research. But her kids already learned about gods, goddesses, heroes, and creatures. What they really needed was more persuasive writing. She changed tactics and typed, “mythology persuasive writing.” There. Perfect. Her face lit up.

Kids Try One- and Five-Paragraph Mythology Writing

On Monday morning, Ms. Sneed was ready to rock and roll. “Today,” she told her class, “we’ll begin some fun mythology writing activities. First, you will think about which character you would like to invite to dinner.”

Excited chatter broke out in the classroom. “I’m inviting Persephone!” said a girl with a long braid.

Mythology Writing – Opinion Style

One-Paragraph Opinion Writing

After the class calmed down, Ms. Sneed displayed a simple organizer. “This should look familiar,” she said. “For strong structure, you’ll begin with an opinion. Then you’ll add three reasons. Finally, you’ll wrap things up with a restatement of your opinion.”

The teacher pointed to the top of the organizer. “Notice that this is an opinion piece – not persuasive. That means you’ll write in first person – using I and me. Today you’ll decide on a god, goddess, creature, hero, etc. Then you’ll consider fun facts about that character and fill out this organizer.”

This simple organizer helps third and fourth grade students write opinion paragraphs related to Greek mythology.

Are you feeling “pinspired”? Feel free to pin images from this post.

Five-Paragraph Opinion Writing

“Some of you are ready to write longer pieces.” Ms. Sneed displayed another organizers. “For this activity, you will scaffold to a five-paragraph essay. It’s similar to writing one paragraph. However, each sentence is expanded into paragraph. In the first paragraph, you state your opinion and your reasons. For the next three paragraphs, you elaborate a single reason. Then you conclude by restating your reasons and opinion – in different words.”

Ms. Sneed circulated around the room, distributing organizers. With her help, each student chose the appropriate format.

Fourth and fifth grade students use this organizer to write a five-paragraph essay on which character from Greek mythology should be invited to dinner.
Improving Mythology Writing

The following day, Ms. Sneed displayed a modeling page. “Time to improve our writing. As we’ve discussed before, specific strategies will make your writing shine.” She discussed on skills they learned earlier in the year:

“As you know, I feel that modeling writing gives kids the boost they need. Here we see a simple paragraph. But is it really so simple? Look at the ways this opinion piece has been improved.

“First, the author plugged in a few different sentence types. But not too many.

“Then she added information. Notice that she said, ‘goddess of the moon’ and ‘in mythology.’ This explains the character to the reader. You should do this too.

“The word choice here is sort of saucy. For this piece, I want you to think about words that will give your writing a strong voice. Can’t you hear the author’s personality in this sentence?

“Finally, long sentences flow and short sentences punctuate. Work on combining sentences to explain. Then throw in something short when you want to make the reader stop and pay attention.”

When third and fourth grade students write opinion pieces, use exemplars to model improvement.

As her one-paragraph writers got started, Ms. Sneed went over a sample persuasive piece with her her advanced writers.

Mythology Writing – Persuasive Style

A few days later, Ms. Sneed pointed to her students’ writing on the bulletin board. “These opinion pieces are magnificent!” she beamed. “Would you like to try another?”

Everyone cheered! Yep, it was a pretty popular project.

“Okay! Here we go! Today, you’ll plan and organize a persuasive piece. In it, you will convince the audience to vote for a character from Greek mythology.”

Once again, the class began chattering. Ms. Sneed let it go for a while, then she reigned them back in.

“I only have two things to say: (1) You have to choose a different character. (2) This is persuasive. Remember, that means you’ll write in second person – using you – as well as third person.”

Ms. Sneed knew when to get out of the way and let her class go. Quickly, she distributed the organizers and let them have at it.

One-Paragraph Persuasive Writing

Once again, some students stuck with one paragraph.

Third and fourth grade kids write persuasive paragraphs on which Greek god or goddess should be elected president.
Five-Paragraph Persuasive Writing

And some students progressed to five paragraphs. For this piece, Ms. Sneed helped some of her advanced writers choose either ethos (credibility), logos (logic), or pathos (emotion) to persuade.

Upper elementary or middle school students write five-paragraph persuasive essays relating to Greek mythology. They list pros and cons to select the character, use an organizer to collect ideas, add transition terms, and use persuasive techniques.

When students completed the second piece, Ms. Sneed hung them on the wall too. Then she sat back and admired their handiwork. As usual, that famous teacher smile curled her lips upward. “There’s nothing like a great writing prompt,” she said to herself.

Enjoy Teaching

Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.

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