We are now ready to try this strategy in our workshop. The groups are asked to brainstorm possible fifth elements topics, then to write sentences about their "fifth elements" that use the advice (and possibly the sentence styles documented) on their own posters.
Find several content-appropriate columns by these two writers, both of who have strong opinions about contemporary topics. Read them aloud with your students. Analyze the stylistic elements in the writing and challenge your students to "try on" these styles the next time they do a quick-write. When it is time to write something persuasive, challenge your students to remember Pitts and Reilly's styles.
Why do we do this activity? When students can use humor to write about a topic, they learn to care about the topic more.