Students' opinions are a crucial step in the foundation of good writing, so we need to provide our kids with ample opportunities to express themselves through their own opinions. This lesson is helpful, and it is also fun; after all, what students don't like to talk about themselves? And, after all, if we want students to be able to write with background, we should go ahead and teach them the best and easiest way to write using what they already know Here is how opinion writing can be very beneficial , as I have seen in my classroom!
Prior to this lesson, students will have had a mini-lesson about what exactly an opinion is. Students should have a foundational understanding of what it means to form an opinion in order to be able to perform adeptly in this lesson.
Students will have done some accountable talk with their own opinions, comparing and contrasting opinions and justifying their feelings. Remember: when we express our opinions, we tell people how we feel. Today, we are going to do just that. This story has the opinion of the main character displayed throughout the text; even the title tells you her opinion!
So, we are going to read this story to hear her opinion. We will talk about it afterwards. It was a very simple board game where they flipped over a card, gave their opinion using a sentence frame, rolled the die, and moved a marker. This just gave them one more way to practice. After the board game, I gave students three prompts from the game. Students chose a prompt, wrote an opinion statement and three reasons for it. While students were writing, I circulated the room and made sure each student had used a sentence frame to state their opinion.
This was first on the chart and first on my list. Something to think about! Thursday: More Practice Goal: Work with academic language and provide more practice On Thursday, students sorted opinions and reasons. I cleaned up the writing a little bit, but used mostly their writing with a few other more difficult ones thrown in.
We first sorted the strips of paper into option and reason. Then we matched the reason to the correct opinion. This whole group activity mirrored what I wanted students to do during their independent activity. Students did their own sort.
This gives them exposure to accurate academic language for opinion writing. After sorting, students chose one opinion and reason pair.
They wrote that opinion and reason on a blank paper and wrote two more reasons to go with that opinion. Not only was I able to get another piece of writing from students, they used the given opinion statement and matching reason to practice some higher-level writing.
I had one student ask if he could combine sentence frames, which opened up the discussion for how to adjust the sentence frames. I love it! Today was the day that most students actually got it. They were able to see how they could manipulate the sentence frames. I added a couple extra words to show students how the phrases can move around and be used with different frames. We practiced a bit with these additions. Students then went back to their seat and practiced just stating their opinion four times.
They also had to use a different frame for each prompt. One student had the brilliant idea to cross out the ones that were already used. This student needed some coaching on finishing his opinion in 4. I think running is the best because you can get to places fast. That is the best way to get around. What is the best way to get around on your own? I think that a bike is the best way to get around because you go fast.
Bikes are the best way to get around. You know why hover boards are the best?After answering, we came back whole group and I called on a few students, emphasizing the different sentence frames they chose to use. We only focused on using academic language with the opinion statement. For some kids, pleasing the teacher is motivation enough but others do much better when they have more of a pay off for the hard work for putting their ideas to paper, editing, revising, and producing a final copy. Surprisingly, as you can see in our guided practice, my students actually used the vegetable word wall from science to spell their words-- this is good because it shows my students' awareness of available resources and tools! Next you can see a planning graphic organizer where each section is outlined in the correct color. Find the link at the bottom of this post.
Kids felt so grown up as we honored their hard work.
This gives them exposure to accurate academic language for opinion writing. Find the link at the bottom of this post. I think this one is so sweet… and YES, she is that sweet of a girl! She did an awesome job using the sentence frame, but the rest of the sentence was missing a few components to make it clear.
We are going to make an opinion about vegetables.
They wrote that opinion and reason on a blank paper and wrote two more reasons to go with that opinion.
Students can also write reviews about movies or restaurants and create a class book.