Lots of ideas for teaching persuasive writing. It is important to have students write about the things that are of interest. This is why blogging is such a great platform - typiclaly first person is allowed students can share their opinions.
In the northern hemisphere as students get ready to get out for summer, many students struggle with body image. Here is a large collection of resources to use to promote healthy eating for all ages. Games, recipes, displays, interaactive white board activities, and lessons.
I've downloaded this free book with 50 ideas to "meet" your new students. If you don't feel you started well last year or are looking for ideas, this is a book with lots of ideas. Targeted to younger classes but you could get some ideas for older kids.