Soooo I’m breaking my own rules a little here. Workshop Wednesday will be open all month, and this month it is all about showcasing how to organize any of your workshops (reading, writing, and math)… but I really want to share how I’m getting opinion writing started in my classroom! So it won’t be organizing writer’s workshop as a whole, but I think you’ll still like it. 😉
Introducing opinion writing is super fun… in my opinion. 😛 But there is a fine line between opinion and persuasive, and I need to make sure the kids know the difference. Here are some things I do:
1: I make sure the kids HAVE an opinion!
I ask them to write one sentence that shows their opinion on a sticky note- it can be about anything they want. The stickies ranged from, “Ms. Ivey is the best teacher in the world!” (awwww) to “My brother is the cutest kid, yet also the meanest.” (HA!) I read them aloud and the students gave thumbs up or thumbs down to show they agreed that it was an opinion.
2: I give them the opportunity to share their opinions with others through discussion.
Have you ever played, “Would You Rather…?” It is such a fun adult game (at least the one I played…), but luckily, Rachel Lynette created some for kids too! (Click above or here for a freebie from her!) I pass these out as strips to a pair of students, and they have to tell which scenario they would rather do and WHY.
3: Our first opinion writing piece……. I start off small, and with a topic with which they are familiar…
We are currently learning about the water cycle and weather in science, so for a quick writing piece, we are writing about our favorite type of weather. I use this organizer which will only produce one paragraph this time (I do NOT want to read five paragraphs about why you like sunny weather- LOL), but later this same format of the organizer will produce an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. (Click above or here to download the organizer for free!) I included “transition” on the organizer because I want them to remember to include those phrases in their writing. (I love these transitional words anchor charts by Tracee Orman!)