Opinion Writing Tools

Hiddy Ho!

Just popping in quick before I start packing for my weekend away to St. Louis! My good college friend is getting married and the hubby is in the wedding. Not to mention, it'll be a college reunion with my 'men'.... I was that girl who had more guy friends and would tag along with my husband (well, then it was my boyfriend's) friends and they graciously accepted me, mostly due to the fact that I'm obsessed with gopher sports and lounging around so I meshed well with them.

St. Louis weather is looking amazing...

I gotta get this post back on track. My bad...

I'm linking up with Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday all about opinion writing! We wrapped up our opinion writing not too long ago, so I'm showing some tips and tricks I used to try to help my kiddos be successful!

1. Brainstorming Pages

My teammate Kate made these awesome brainstorming pages where students had to think of important people or places to them as well as problems they see in our school. We let them eventually pick one of these to write their persuasive speech.

Here is a little snippet from some Smartboard slides Kate sent me.

I had to say, it was pretty easy for them to find problems in our school....

"Cafeteria is too loud!"
"Cafeteria is too crowded!"
"We need a longer lunch!"

"The library needs more books and magazines!"
"My teacher needs more space!" (thank you little one... she stated one of her reasons was that I would just keep stacking papers and I had to make my own book shelves- she's talking about these. Bless her heart.)

I had a few sweethearts write about their grandparents and had such heartfelt reasons and a few students picked places that ranged from a special Somali store to South Dakota.

You can buy these and a whole lot of vocabulary resources that help support writing opinion pieces that Kate bundled at her store. Click the image below to be taken there!

2. Planning pages

Now that they had their opinion (we do call it a thesis statement- it's apart of our curriculum) it was time to start planning it out.

I created this 'triple-stuffed' Oreo planning page that allowed for them to come up with 3 reasons with an example to support it. It worked really well to help them expand their ideas.

Grab this one free from my store!

3. Transitions

Since it was a speech, we worked on adding transitions well. They used post it flags to add transitional phrases from one reason to another. The put them right on top of the Oreos to make sure they had one for each reason.

4. Talking to your Audience

Lastly, we learned how to talk to our audience. I used the example opinion that I think we should eat lunch in the classroom so that the learning doesn't have to stop! (I got some very shocked faces, but excited faces.) I then began saying that we need more time to learn and that I would make them work through their lunch, yadda, yadda, yadda. By the end, they were groaning and practically asking for my head! I made my point: I did not think about my audience before I gave my speech.

I reworked it, with them in mind, and they all of a sudden loved the idea of lunch in the classroom! I used this print, punch, and practice page that includes phrases they can use to talk to their audience and an example speech that they went through and highlighted places where I talked to my audience. They kept it in their binder as a reference when they were drafting.

Click above to find it in my store!

Well- there are just a few tips I used. This unit was super choppy with our 5 snow days, 4 sub days for me, and no Kira (our EL teacher- she was busy doing ACCESS testing for our entire EL population at our school) for most of the unit, so it wasn't our best writing, but these supports made it much easier!

I hope your neck of the words is as sunny as it is here in MN right now! Happy Writing!


1 comment

  1. You will probably drive right by my house on your way down to St. Louis :) That weather does look amazing!!


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