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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
A Trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame (Writing a Persuasive Letter)

Project URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/unhs/persuasive.htm

How it works:
This program is designed to teach high school students some of the rudimentary research skills needed to find information using the World Wide Web. The goal of the research is to garner information about the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to demonstrate that a trip to that institution would be academically beneficial to the members of the school's baseball team.

The various writing skills include the following elements of the writing process: free-writing, drafting, sharing, editing, and publishing. It also includes a writing exercise on writing from a different point of view, as the students are required to respond to the drafts of the letters from the point of view of the baseball coach.

One other specific writing activity that is included in this program is writing a variety of conclusions to the letter. In this way student writers can practice their virtuosity as much as they like.

Standards addressed:
English Language Arts
Students will be able to:

1. produce a persuasive essay;

2. read and comprehend informational materials;

3. independently and habitually demonstrate an understanding of the roles of the English language in written and oral work;

4. analyze and subsequently revise work to improve its clarity and effectiveness;

5. respond to non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive and critical processes.

Students will be able to:

1.  Use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity;

2. Use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers and other audiences;

3. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

Materials used:
Computer with Internet access; printer, word processing program

The students:
This program is suitable to regular English Language Arts high schools classes and may be modified for remedial reading classes. The program would also be suitable for English As A Second Language high school classes as it offers an opportunity to study America's national past-time.

Overall value:
The best part of this program is the element of a realistic situation in which students may write from another point of view. Since its main goal is to produce a persuasive letter or essay, it gives a chance for responding to the arguments from another/different point of view. The teacher may even insist that the "coach" answer negatively to the persuasive letters to make the view more dramatic and necessitate a strong counter response.

The teacher may want to introduce this program at the time of the World Series of Baseball to take advantage of the link to the sports events. The ideas in the program may be used for other sports, such as basketball, football, and so on. In this way, the teacher may even have the students pick a "Hall Of Fame" of their choice and have group presentations as a culminating event.

About The Teacher

Ms.Vitulano is an English Language Arts teacher with expertise in teaching with computer technology. She continues to act as a staff developer in that area. Her curriculum samples have been electronically published for several years on Murry Bergtraum High School's website, Blackboard.com, and the Manhattan High Schools Superintendency's website. She is currently involved in the development of a new high school, University Neighborhood. In its second year, the school is part of a pilot program of the Winstar wireless laptops. Ms. Vitulano is leading the school in the use of this latest technology with her students.

Email Contact:

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 5

Physical Education

Beginning Grade Level: 9

Ending Grade Level: 12









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