Persuasive Writing World Religions Unit Plan

Persuasive Essay Unit Plan on Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay on World Religions

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.43.47 AM

This Unit Plan details the process of writing a persuasive essay about world religions. The goal of this unit is to align writing content with social studies world religions content with the end goal of writing a 5-paragraph essay about a religious controversy. This is a three-week unit that heavily emphasizes research skills. Students spend the first week researching, understanding their topics, analyzing the reliability of sources, and learning about paraphrasing/ plagiarism. Students spend the second week drafting their essays. The third week is spent revising the essay. By the end of the unit, students should be comfortable with the idea of making claims, supporting their claims with reasons and evidence, and ultimately drafting an essay. This unit can be used with 7th graders at any level. The two topic choices differ in complexity.

The Unit Plan includes a unit overview, standard alignment, and sample lessons. 

An overview of the lesson is provided below and the Unit Plan as a PDF and Word file is provided at the bottom of the page.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.42.48 AM


Students begin the unit by understanding what persuasion means and its historical origins via a Ted ED talk.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.43.34 AM

Then, we begin to talk about the importance of being able to develop an argument for a topic you may not agree with. Masters of persuasion are able to construct arguments with a thesis statement and strong reasons, even if they don’t personally agree.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.41.33 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.43.09 AM

While developing arguments, mini-lessons about the rhetorical triangle are spiraled into the unit.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.41.25 AM

After understanding how to construct an argument, we shift our focus to understanding what makes a source reliable.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.41.15 AM

We then practice analyzing if sources are reliable using our key points about what makes a source reliable.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.41.55 AM

Finally, students are introduced to the writing project. Students have the choice of TWO case files, which include the articles they will use to construct their argument. Students select whether they want to focus on a controversy within Islam or Judaism. The articles are leveled; the Islam Case File is more complex than the Judaism Case File. I encouraged students to select a particular case file based on their reading level.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 11.42.06 AM

After reading and annotating the articles, we discussed the controversy in small groups and the assignment prompt. Students then begin writing and revising their essays.

Persuasive Essay Unit Plan (PDF)

Persuasive Essay Unit Plan (Word)




One thought on “Persuasive Writing World Religions Unit Plan

  1. Pingback: World Religions Persuasive Writing Unit Plan | Teaching the Writers: 7th Grade English Curriculum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s