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McKinley-Brighton Students Use Persuasive Writing to Advocate to Chick-fil-A

This is a photo of two McKinley-Brighton students holding artwork they drew and smiling at the camera.Fast food mascots are well-known, and their slogans are catchy.
But McKinley-Brighton students in Taylor Belanger’s 4th grade class have some ideas to help them improve!
Thanks to a creative writing project, the students were encouraged to use their imaginations and their persuasive writing skills to write letters to Chick-fil-A representatives in an attempt to convince them to change their mascot (currently a cow) and their slogan (currently ‘eat more chicken!’).
 Picture this on a Chick-fil-A billboard: a bulldog.
“Who doesn’t want to look at a cute bulldog?” a student inquired in their letter.
How about a bird.

“Birder eat your chicken,” another student suggested, noting a play on the word ‘better.’
Or a turtle.
“You could say ‘we’ll turtle-y see you later,’” one wrote, playing on the word ‘totally.’
Chick-fil-A staff caught wind of the students’ efforts and donated a lunch to the class, sending members of their community outreach team as well to hear the students’ ideas in person!
While the project itself was fun for the students, it was also created with a larger goal in mind: helping them practice articulating reasons for their claim, a skill they would need to master for their state assessments.
“My students were having a difficult time doing that,” Ms. Belanger explained. “They had difficulty with their persuasive essay in September, and we were doing so much test prep that they were getting drained and losing interest. I needed something to spark excitement. After much brainstorming with my family, Chick-fil-A and their mascot of a cow and their well-known slogan to ‘eat more chicken’ came to mind. Through this project, students went through the whole writing process: brainstorming, planning, drafting, editing, editing again, and completing their final piece. Then, they created a visual representation of their new mascot and slogan!”
Students said this project worked: the activity helped them learn what to do to help craft a convincing argument.
“I learned that you have to clearly say what you want someone to do,” Khyler Canery explained.
“I learned that you have to have convincing reasons if you want to try to change someone’s mind,” Tavon Lane added. “I have to use what I know to try to influence them. For example, I suggested using a chicken as their mascot. It would be reverse psychology… people would see the chicken and they’d build up an appetite for chicken. They wouldn’t be able to resist it! I worked hard on this, and I hope they use my idea!”
“This was a fun project because I learned how to convince people using my own ideas and my own words,” Angel Johnson shared. “I think my letter is great! I really think we could change their minds!”
Thank you to the Chick-fil-A team for their generosity in supporting these students’ ideas and providing a special lunch treat for them!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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