St. Michael's Episcopal School

Pet Adoption Persuasive Writing Project Success

Innovative Second Grade Project Makes Global Impact

Second grade teacher Kensey Jones was looking for a new way to teach persuasive writing. As a volunteer with Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), Mrs. Jones wanted to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching by having her students use their writing skills to encourage animal adoptions. She shared her idea with Christie Peters, RACC director and mom of second grader Max, who jumped at the partnership.

After getting approvals from the School and all second grade parents, Mrs. Peters brought 10-week-old Snow, a white Pit Bull puppy ambassador, to campus. While students visited with Snow, Mrs. Peters explained how the shelter works and shared some animal facts. She also talked about how the students’ projects could help 24 animals, many of which were harder to adopt because of their age, temperament, or health conditions, find new homes. After each second grader was matched with a dog or cat, they took virtual tours of RACC to see their assigned animals and learn more about the animals’ personalities and needs. Students eagerly used their persuasive writing and illustration skills to develop personalized marketing materials for their assigned animal, later posted on each animal’s kennel at the RACC, to motivate potential adopters to choose the animal. Best of all, it worked! 24 of 24 hard-to-place animals found their forever homes!

What followed next was above and beyond any of St. M’s expectations. The story went viral and received a tremendous amount of local, national, and international press coverage. (See video examples and a full listing of press coverage below.) St. Michael’s just launched year two of this project with our current second grade students.

Our desire is that schools from around the United States adapt this lesson plan (see below) and partner with their local animal shelters to help animals in need find their forever homes.

Lesson Plan

Animal Shelter Persuasive Writing Lesson Plan
Share Your School’s Writing Project With Us HERE

This successful persuasive writing lesson plan was developed by St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia, in partnership with Richmond Animal Care and Control. We encourage other schools and student organizations to implement this project in their own communities.

  • In exchange for the lesson plan, we ask that you PLEASE SHARE with our school and students your organization name, location, and project outcomes via the above form.
  • Questions? Please contact Andrea Amore, St. Michael’s Director of Communications, at [email protected] OR Kensey Jones, 2nd Grade Teacher, at [email protected].

Successful Media Coverage Examples