About the Project

The Third Grade Guide to Portland: Persuasive, Place-based Writing


This 6-week project was a place-based and technology-focused persuasive writing unit that culminated in the publishing of this online guide to the city of Portland from the third grade perspective. Part storyline experience and part research project, this unit introduced many persuasive and descriptive writing skills to students while they created original articles concerning various unique aspects of our city. Each student pair chose a ‘quintessential Portland’ occupation, through which they viewed the city and contributed specific written accounts to this Guidebook Blog.

Questions/Comments can be sent to Tom Myers via e-mail.

Week One: Students made decisions about the jobs they would like to take on and the locations in Portland where they’d like to live and work for our map, and created Biography Cards. Students researched their occupations online and took notes. The map began filling in with offices, homes, businesses and local attractions as we read more about Portland and the city’s residents.
DSCN0540DSCN0614Week Two: Students closely read several articles about Portland, discussed author’s purpose, investigated guidebooks and their format, and created organizers and outlines for the guidebook. Students discussed thin vs. thick questioning and prepared interview questions for their real-life counterparts. Throughout the week we researched, read and took notes about the city.


Week Three: Students learned about the role of graphic sources and created artwork for the guidebook. Students received their interview responses and began outlining persuasive articles with main ideas and supporting details.

Week Four: Students created final organizers and outlines of their articles, added quotes from interviewees and powerful adjectives. These outlines became rough drafts throughout the week.

Week Five: Students spent time walking through downtown Portland. Rough drafts became ‘smooth’ drafts through editing and revising.

Week Six: Students peer edited and published their articles, then spent time filling in the guidebook with short ‘blurbs,’ images and quotes. The artwork was scanned and the articles were types, and all was uploaded to this blog.