Opinion writing lessons 4th grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by newteacher14, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. newteacher14

    newteacher14 Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2015

    Hi all! I am a first year teacher and I am looking for some help with lessons for teaching opinion writing to my students.

    I'm planning on starting out by posing a question (something like do you like cats or dogs better, and why) then having students discuss and do a quickwrite. Then, I was going ask my students what they think "opinion" means, and chart their ideas. I was planning on spending a bit of time discussing the difference between fact and opinion and doing an activity to reinforce that.

    I am wondering if anyone has any advice on where to go next in my opinion writing plans....I know I need to get into reasons and evidence and I'd like my 4th graders to be able to write 5 paragraph essays with 3+ reasons and evidence. I'm just at a loss on where to go next after the plans I have already created. I'm totally open to suggestions and critique. Thank you so much in advance.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 4, 2015

    I would work on the body paragraphs first. Ask them each to make a list of responses to a question such as, "Why is a _____ your favorite pet?" Have them choose their top three reasons and explain each of them. Show them how to elaborate on each explanation. Then, help them use each explanation as a body paragraph with an intro sentence and closing sentence. Model good intro and closing paragraphs and have them try those after the body is done. This won't come easily or quickly!
     
  4. newteacher14

    newteacher14 Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2015

  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 4, 2015

    Brainstorm lists:
    Things you want to change
    Things you want
    Things you want to stop or start
    Problems
     
  6. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Dec 7, 2015

    Hello,
    I am getting ready to start a unit on this too. We have a writing program that is great, it is called write steps. Some of the things that it has in it are modelling how to plan an opinion writing piece (a 5 square organizer that has a spot to plan out reasons for your opinion.) A big part of the unit is modelling how to plan using that, modelling writing a paragraph after that, and analyzing student samples to see what they can improve on. As practice I am using the prompt "Zoos: are they cool or cruel." The final product is a persuasive letter.
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2015

    As an older teacher, I still remember my first lesson as a student on the 5 paragraph model--in 11th grade English class! When I first began teaching, I decided to use that model in my lessons. The other teachers were surprised that I was using such advanced lessons in 5th grade. Years later, boy! Did I get a chuckle when the 5 paragraph model showed up in my 3rd grade Teacher's Edition and as a required outcome at my school!
    The best beginning I've found for any type of essay, (I learned this at a workshop), is to fold a plain sheet of paper into 4 parts, so that there are 4 sections on each side. (The 5th section that you'll need, of course, will be on the reverse side). In each section, sketch a picture of the topic sentence, then write the topic sentence. For the first section, work backwards to find a couple of general leading sentences for the opening topic sentence. For the last section, reword or summarize the general statements beginning with the topic. This is the hardest part students seem to have, going from general to specific and from specific to general. Modeling this on the board or especially a smart board is quite beneficial. I would write an entire essay from scratch with the students watching, and stopping at times to discuss as necessary or helpful.
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2015

    I like the suggestions I've read so far. However none have addressed content. You need to provide your students with outstanding examples of opinion writing then challenge your students to figure out why the writing is so good. Have your students look at how the authors organize their points, the sentences and vocabulary they use, the writing conventions and anything else that helps to make the writing strong. I do this process with all writing assignments from non-fiction essays to poetry.
     
    Obadiah and mathmagic like this.

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