English – learning to write persuasive speeches, linked to Harry Potter

In English, Year 5 completed a unit of writing on the genre of persuasion.

This work was based on idea of ‘The Sorting Hat’ from the book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K Rowling - a popular choice amongst the classes. To support their existing knowledge, Year 5 read extracts from the book during Guided Reading sessions, that detailed the much anticipated ‘Sorting Ceremony’ that is set in The Great Hall. This was then used to inspire their own persuasive writing pieces.

Year 5 were set the task of writing a persuasive speech, to the Sorting Hat, to convince it that they should be placed into their chosen house (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin). Their speeches included many of the common techniques of persuasion, such as r- epetition, emotive language, exaggeration, using evidence to support their arguments, alliterative words and rhetorical questions. These features are known to be effective skills in the art of persuasion.

After planning, writing and editing their speeches, it was time to read them aloud to see if they could sway the decision of the Sorting Hat. The quality of writing was extremely high, and the Sorting Hat was left with no choice but to sort Year 5 into their preferred house. It seems, Year 5 can be very persuasive!