Persuasive writing is a form of nonfiction writing that is practiced at nearly every grade level.  It encourages a wide range of skills including selective word choice, the development of argument, and concise summarization.  For many students, including early learners, this type of writing can be challenging.

As a way to help students understand the genre, teachers have often drawn a logical parallel between persuasive writing and television commercials.  Advertisements are perhaps the most relevant example of persuasive writing that students encounter on a daily basis.  As a result, the process of having students write and create commercials to communicate their argument, helps students understand effective techniques and when to incorporate in their writing.

Adobe Spark Video provides students with a user-friendly medium to design and share their persuasive commercials.  A teacher won’t have to spend significant time instructing students how to use the software, and they won’t have to devout weeks of class time to finish this assignment.  From searching for photos to recording a voiceover, students can accomplish all necessary tasks directly inside the program.  Here’s an example of a commercial created with Spark VideoThe writing sample comes from the website Thoughtful Learning

 

All media available in Spark Video has a Creative Commons license.  This is ideal for teachers looking to reinforce digital citizenship with students when choosing media to use for projects. And speaking of digital citizenship, at the end of each video, Spark will list the content used and rightfully attribute it to the original creators.  This is a huge time saver, because while important, correctly adding citations can be challenging and tedious.

So what are the steps to completing a persuasive writing project?

  1. Write.   Remember the point of persuasive writing is to provide students with an opportunity to convincingly form a clear and concise argument.   While creating Spark Videos is fun, the commercial’s effectiveness lies within how well it’s written.  So before logging into Spark make sure students have a final version of their persuasive essay finished.
  2. Storyboard.  Depending on the available time, you might have students complete a graphic organizer, such as this one, to plan what media they’ll need to help assist their argument.  With a program like Spark Video, having their ideas fleshed out, could help make Step 3 more efficient.
  3. Create.  In my opinion, this is the fun part.  Using Spark Video, students can begin to add the narration, images, and even music that help to support their argument.
  4. Publish.  A project like this best when others have the opportunity to view it.  With Spark Video you have the option to create a public link or to download the actual video file.  So whether, it’s sharing on a classroom Learning Management System or uploading to a classroom YouTube channel, make sure you have a plan for students to share their hard work with an authentic audience.

As I shared a few months ago, Spark Video is just one of three very useful programs included in the Adobe Spark platform.  If you haven’t tried Adobe Spark yet, I’d encourage you to sign up for a free account.  Whether it’s persuasive writing or completing another assignment, I’m positive you’ll find Adobe Spark to be a powerful tool for student publishing.

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