Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I have loved SHOULD THERE BE ZOOS? for years. This book was written by Tony Stead and a class of 4th graders. The persuasive essays argue for or against zoos and it is one of the best mentor texts I have found for persuasive writing for elementary students. Last month, a member of the English Companion NING shared a related title SHOULD WE HAVE PETS by Sylvia Lollis, Joyce Hogan and her second-grade class. My copy arrived in the mail today.

SHOULD WE HAVE PETS is clearly modeled after SHOULD THERE BE ZOOS? Another great sample of persuasive text but one written by younger students. This one follows the same format of SHOULD THERE BE ZOOS? Pairs of children share their own opinion on whether or not we should have pets and focus on one reason to support their argument. At the end of the book, the writers ask you to form your own opinion based on what you read. They also share the process they went through when writing the book. A glossary and index are included.

The thing I like about this one, that seems different from the other, is the use of visuals. The students use photographs to add more meaning to their arguments. For example, when Franklin and Roshanda argue that we should not have pets because so many people abuse their pets, 3 photos of animals being treated poorly add to the information in the text. I can see minilessons on the ways that visuals support an argument because the photos are used very purposefully in this book.

It is hard to find good persuasive text for young students so I am definitely glad I found this one. Anxious to share it with kids!


  1. These look like great educational books! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm just finishing a persuasive unit with my class. This is a great find!! I will definitely be adding it to my collection of texts!


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