Mythology Writing Activities – 2 Authentic Argumentative Essays

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

Looking for mythology writing activities to go with your unit? Try argumentative essays!

Ms. Sneed Looks for a Mythology Writing Activity

As our favorite fourth grade teacher continued the lesson plans for 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 writing activities – argumentative essays.” There. Perfect for the ELA block. Her face lit up.

Kids Try One- and Five-Paragraph Essays

On Monday morning, Ms. Sneed was ready to rock and roll. “After reading The Lightning Thief,” 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 argumentative essays, 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.”

Third and fourth grade students use this simple organizer for one-paragraph argumentative essays.
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 mythology writing 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.

Writing mythology-based argumentative essays works well with five paragraphs too. This organizer simplifies the planning process.

Improving Drafts

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

  • Structure organizes writing.
  • Beginnings and endings tie writing together.
  • Transitions make writing flow.
  • Varying sentences jazzes up writing.
  • Elaboration strengthens writing.
  • Word choice improves writing.

“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.”

This modeling page helps third and fourth grade students understand how to improve argumentative essays for their mythology writing activity.

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

Mythology Writing Activities – Persuasive Style

A few days later, Ms. Sneed pointed to her students’ argumentative essays 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 begin their mythology writing activities.

One-Paragraph Argumentative Essays

Once again, some students stuck with one paragraph.

For a mythology writing activity, third and fourth grade kids write persuasive paragraphs on which character should be elected president.

Scaffolding to Five Paragraphs

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

When students completed the second piece, Ms. Sneed hung those mythology writing activities 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. “And a few of them even wove in allusions to Greek mythology. I love when a genre study comes together.”

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