Lesson video

In progress...


Hello, I'm Miss Reid.

And welcome to another lesson on energy and sustainability.

Let's have a look at our lesson title for today.

So our lesson title is plan a letter with recommendations for greater sustainability to my local MP.

Now an MP is a member of parliament.

So you're going to be writing to your local MP within your constituency.

A constituency is a voting area.

So in this lesson, we are going to be using information that we've learned about sustainable cities and the information that you've gathered about your own local community to plan a letter to your local MP.

The letter will ask your local MP to make one change, to make your local community more sustainable.

For today's lesson you will need an exercise book or a piece of paper.

You'll need a pencil and you'll need your brain.

Please also take a moment now to clear away any distractions, including turning off any notifications on any apps or conversations that you have in the background if you know how to do that.

Please also try to find a quiet place where you won't be distracted during the lesson.

Pause the video now so that you can get what you need and find a quiet place to work.


Now you have what you need let's start.

So in this lesson, we are going to be asking, what are the features of a persuasive letter? Because we are writing specifically a persuasive letter, a letter to persuade someone to think or do something that you would like.

So introduction, that's what we're going to be planning first.

Then we're going to be planning a paragraph on our first case study, which is an example of a sustainable city and that's Curitiba.

Our second case study is Freiburg, and that's another example of a sustainable city.

You are then going to plan a paragraph on one recommendation that you are going to give to your local MP to make your local community more sustainable.

So what are the features of a persuasive letter? Well, there are two types of features.

There are the organisational features and there are also the persuasive language features.

So that's have a look at the organisational features first.

Well, the organisational features are your address.

So let's have a quick look and I'll get my pointer so that we can see your address.

Well, that goes up here in the top right hand corner of the screen.

The next organisational feature is the recipient's address.

And that goes here on the left hand side.

You also need to make sure you include the date on which you're writing the letter.

And that goes underneath your address.

Then we have dear.

So we address the person that we are writing to in this case it's dear Mr. Haynes.

We make sure that we're writing in paragraphs and each paragraph is a different idea.

So we always made sure that we have an introduction and a conclusion, and we have paragraphs in the middle that outline our ideas.

And then we write yours sincerely.

So we write yours sincerely when we know the person's name that we're writing to.

Otherwise, if you don't know their name, you can use yours faithfully.

But in our case, we will know our local MP's name.

Then we have persuasive language.

Now persuasive language is the language that we use when we want to persuade someone to think like us or do something that we would like.

So let's have a look at this persuasive language.

In introductions, the language that we can use is, I am writing to.

We can also use, in my opinion.

Here we go, the introduction of this letter, I am writing to inform you.

When we're making a point, we might use this language.

Did you know? Well, did you know? Is a type of rhetorical question sentence starter.

Now rhetorical questions are used when we want to ask a question to make the reader think a little bit more deeply.

So we're not asking because we want an answer.

We're asking a question because we want them to reflect on their own thoughts.

Now we can also use some other types of sentence starters, and I'm going to show you those now.

Let's go back to the letter.

Were you aware that? We can also use language like I am sure that.

It is widely agreed that.

Surely you agree that.

So these types of statements help us to persuade someone to think more like us.

And finally, in a conclusion, as you can see, and without a doubt.

Now, this conclusion I've used for these reasons.

But you can use any of this language.

So now we've had a look at the organisational features and the persuasive language features, let's have a read of the example letter that I have on this screen.

Let's zoom in.

I'm going to read it, but you can read along with me at home.

I want you to see if by the end of the letter you've been persuaded to think like the writer.

Do you agree with their points? "Dear Mr. Haynes, I am writing to inform you that I will not be attending this year's annual beach Olympics celebration, because I do not believe that dogs without leads should be allowed on the beach.

I am sure that you will agree that while most dogs are well-trained and perfectly friendly, there are some dogs that cannot be trusted when small children are around.

In fact, just last year at the same event, a small child was bitten by a dog which was off its lead.

Do you think that is acceptable? In addition, there'll be many people enjoying picnic lunches on the beach this year, and it is not hygienic to have dogs off their leads while people are eating.

What if a dog, were to lick someone's lunch while they were not looking? For these reasons, I hope you will reconsider allowing dog owners to let their dogs off their leads during this event.

Yours sincerely, Jimmy Rhodes.

What do you think? Why are you persuaded to think more like the writer? Hmm, well, you're going to be writing your own persuasive letters and I would love to see them when they're finished, because I want to know if I would be persuaded by your writing.

Let's carry on.

So the first thing that you need to know is your local MP.

Who are they? Now my local MP's name is Harriet Harman.

Now she is my local MP for and I live in the constituency, which is called Camberwell and Peckham.

Now you need to ask your parents or carer to help you to find out who your local MP is.

The first thing you need to do is find out your local constituency, and then you can find out your local MP.

Pause the video now so that you can find out who your local MP is.

Do you know who your local MP is now? Shout their name out.

Maybe they heard you all the way in parliament.

Who knows? Okay, let's move on.

Right, so your first task for today is you need to draw a table.

I've drawn an example table on this slide.

Now your table needs to look slightly different to this one, because you need to have around eight to 10 lines, per row.

Now, when I say per row, I mean that this section, this section, this section, and this section all need to have around eight to 10 lines so that you can fit all of the information when you're writing your notes or your key points.

Pause the video now so you can draw your own table.


Now you've drawn your table.

Let's move on.

So you can see that my table looks slightly different to yours and the reason for that is because I've got a key questions column.

And the key questions are going to help guide you when writing your notes.

Let's have a look at the key questions.

What is the purpose of this letter? What does sustainability mean? And why is this such an important issue? Why are you writing to your MP specifically? Now, your job is to use the key questions to help you to write your notes.

What am I thinking about sustainability? I've put that little picture on the slide to help jog your memory about the definition of sustainability.

And you need to think about why it's important that we live in a sustainable world.

Who is it good for? Now, I'm going to zoom in on this table.

I want you to use the key questions to write your notes.

Don't worry if you can't quite think of all the information, because I'm going to share an example that I've written in a moment.

Pause the video now so you can write your notes or key points in the table.


So these are the notes that you're going to be using for your introduction.

And that's why it's important to outline our argument.

Here are the notes that I've written.

So I put in it's the purpose of this letter is that I want to live in a more sustainable community.

And I've written the definition of sustainability.

Sustainability is using resources that are good for people, the environment and the economy, both in the present and in the future.

And why is it important? Well, I've said that we need to live more sustainably for the health of people and the planet.

And finally, why am I writing to my local MP specifically? Well, because MPs have the power to make changes.

Pause the video now, if you need to add anything to your table.


Now you've got all the information let's move on to the next paragraph.

So this paragraph is going to be like on a case study.

And this case study is going to be all about Curitiba, because we want to give an example of another community that is doing things for their community.

That means that they're living sustainably.

So the key questions on this slide, let's have a closer look.

What measures has Curitiba taken to become a more sustainable city? What can your MP learn from this city's practises? So you've got some pictures there from the lesson on Curitiba, and you can use those to jog your memory on the measures that leaders of Curitiba have taken to make it a more sustainable community.

Now, when you're thinking about what your local MP can learn from this city's practises, you might be thinking about how is your community different to Curitiba? What are they doing that your local community isn't yet doing? Pause the video now and write notes on this particular paragraph using the key questions.

Okay, let's have a look at the notes that I wrote or the key points that I jotted down.

So bi-articulated buses, that's one measure they've taken.

And some facts I've written about the bi-articulated buses are they can carry 270 people per bus, they're cheap to use, and they're a dedicated bus lane.

So they're nice and speedy.

The other thing that the leaders of Curitiba have done is create a pedestrianised street, which has reduced traffic and created safer roads.

You might also write there that it has reduced the pollution in the city.

That's an important one.

Pause the video now so that you can add in any additional notes.

Excellent work.

Let's move on to the next paragraph.

So this is another case study and this is on Freiburg.

So let's have a look at our key questions.

What measures has Freiburg taken to become a more sustainable city? What can your MP learn from this city's practises? So there are some pictures there and you can use those pictures to jog your memory and think about the things that Freiburg are doing to make their city more sustainable.

When you're thinking about the things that your MP could do, or the things that they could learn from these practises, think about the differences between your local community and Freiburg as a local community.

Pause the video now and jot down some key points about Freiburg as a case study, Okay, let's compare your notes to mine.

So I said that food waste is recycled and used to make more energy.

Remember they have a bio gas power plant.

People use items that are better for the environment such as disposable nappies.

That means that there are less items like nappies going to landfill.

Trams create less pollution and are a cheap way to travel.

Lots of vegetation and trees which are good for health.

Now, again, when you were writing your own notes, you have to think about what's the difference between Freiburg in your local community.

So you can think about what your MP can learn from this community.

Pause the video now in case you need to add any notes that you've missed.


Let's move on to our final paragraph that we're planning today.

Now, this paragraph is really specific to your own local community.

You did some research in our previous lesson.

When you thought about your own local community, let's have a look at the key questions to help you to write your notes.

So the key questions are, what public transport links do you have access to? Perhaps you're like me, and you have lots of public transport links like bicycles and buses and trains.

Perhaps you live in quite a rural area and you don't have many links to public transport.

What green spaces do you have access to? Perhaps you have lots of green spaces in your local area, perhaps living in a rural area means that you have access to a whole countryside of green spaces.

Perhaps you live in an urban area like a city or a town, and you would like your MP to create more green spaces for you.

What waste can currently be recycled in your area? Do you need more access to recycling collection points? Do you need more recycling collection in your area? Perhaps you already have a good recycling collection link.

And finally, what's recommendation will you give your MP? So this needs to be something that your local community isn't doing yet.

Something that they could do to be more sustainable.

Perhaps you're going to take an example of Freiburg or Curitiba.

Maybe you want more pedestrianised streets.

Maybe you think that your local MP should promote the use of disposable nappies.

Maybe there should be more recycling.

Maybe there should be better transport links.

What can your MP do for you? Remember, you're just choosing one thing.

Pause the video now so that you can jot your key points or notes for this section.

Let's have a look at the notes that I wrote.

So the things that I, that are specific to my local area.

So I have access to trains, buses, the overground, bicycles, a car, and taxis.

There are lots of small greens, there's a common near me and a park.

I have access to mixed recycling, food waste and household waste.

And my recommendation to my local MP is that there should be more vegetation, such as green roofs on houses and flats.

So I think that if we had more vegetation on buildings, it would encourage more wildlife, and they would emit more oxygen into the atmosphere, which is better living in a polluted area like I do.

Now, we've come to the end of this lesson.

You should by now have lots of notes, ready to write your letter in our next lesson.

A really big, well done for all the fantastic learning you've achieved today.

Now, I wonder if you could tell someone in your household the key recommendation that you're going to give to your local MP.

Now, if you can't, please do take a picture of your work and ask a parent or carer to share it with your teacher so that they can see all the fantastic learning that you've done.

And if you'd like, you can ask your parents or carer to take a picture of your work and send it to @OakNational on Twitter so that I can see your work too.

That's all we have left for today.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your learning today.