Every year the 4th and 5th graders at our school are expected to complete a science fair project. The kids (and parents) generally go all out and as a result our hallways are filled with some absolutely amazing projects. In wanting to prepare my students for the science fair next year and work on a little persuasive writing we do a 'gallery walk' of all of the projects.
At first I simply tell the kids that they will have 15 minutes to quietly and respectfully peruse the various projects. Once they return to the room we set up the criteria: you have to choose one project that you think is the most interesting and convince me why it is so interesting.
This is generally not their first introduction to persuasive writing, but it serves as a great, practical way for kids to explore their writing using science and projects that other students in the building have completed.
The kids do a wonderful job of taking this seriously because they know it is a project they will have to do in the years to come.
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