The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

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Persuasive Pastries

by Daintry Duffy Zaterka '88
Third graders crafted their most compelling arguments with some delicious-sounding descriptions to sell the bakery items they created.
Third graders spent February designing and describing some delectable treats. Students have been practicing their persuasive writing skills to convince an audience that the pastry they designed should be added to a bakery menu. Among the contenders are a vanilla-filled croissant topped with strawberry frosting and sprinkles, a multi-flavor layer cake, and for cake lovers - a cake topped with cake pops!

To inspire their writing, each student was asked to create a 3D model of a one-of-a-kind pastry using model magic, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, and tempura paints for mouth-watering color realism. Creativity and Design Department Chair Kim Fogerty kicked off the pastry design process by explaining to the class that they have to use empathy in their design work and think about what the customer might want instead of what they personally like. “She got students thinking about appearance, taste, cost, and to-go capabilities,” notes Third Grade Teacher Katie Buteau. In Design and Digital Literacy class, third graders are learning about container and packaging design so that they can each design a special to-go box for their bakery creation. 

Third graders began exploring the opinion and persuasive writing genres by writing an opinion piece together as a class. Students also watched a persuasive Ted Ed video called “Why You Should Eat Bugs” that makes the case for bugs being a larger part of the human diet citing sustainability, micronutrients, and high protein content as compelling reasons. The video highlighted the key ingredients of effective persuasive writing: reasons and examples. Once students completed a model of their pastry, they used a “triple-stuffed oreo” writing framework to structure their persuasive writing. “Oreo” writing starts with a topic sentence and statement of opinion, contains three reasons and examples in the middle to bolster the argument, and then ends with a concluding sentence that restates the opinion and ties it all together. Recently, some students shared final drafts of their writing with the class, presenting some strong arguments for why their pastry should be chosen, including customizable flavors, the uniqueness of their design, and special attributes such as being allergen or gluten-free. 

After spring break, students will record themselves delivering their persuasive essays and presenting their final product. These “commercials” will be shared with the class so that classmates can “shop” and provide feedback. The ability to practice, record, and re-record their delivery will give students to opportunity to work on their public speaking skills. “The challenge will be for students to use their voices and their writing to really be persuasive and sell,” says Katie. The commercials will be excellent practice for their next third grade writing assignment - their first speech at Fay School! 
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