- First Grade
- 85 minutes
- Standards: W.1.1
Write on! Give your students the chance to express themselves with this engaging lesson. Your class will write expressive opinion essays to develop cognitive awareness.
After completing this lesson, students should be able to define the word opinion, and write opinion pieces that provide reasons, evidence, and closure.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Bring your students to the center of the room, or a large area on the carpet, and explain that they will be playing a game called Pass the Marker.
- Explain that in this game, there are only three rules: Whoever holds the marker gets to speak. The speaker must say his favorite food aloud in the form of the following sentence: “My favorite food is __, because ____.” When the speaker is done, he must pass the marker to the person closest to them.
- Initialize the game by being the first to hold the marker and complete the sentence, and then have students continue the game until all of them have taken a turn.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Inform the students that the game they just finished playing provided an opinion.
- Display or project the What is an Opinion? attachment, and explain that an opinion is how a person thinks or feels about a topic.
- Tell them that the topic for the game was “favorite foods.” Point out that not everyone had the same favorite food because not everyone’s opinion is the same.
- Explain to the students that when an author writes their opinion, they provide evidence, or facts that back up their opinion, using the word “because.”
- Discuss the definition of the vocabulary words with the students at this time.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (25 minutes)
- Bring out or project the OREC Burger attachment and practice modeling how a complete opinion would look like for the girl’s opinion on broccoli.
- Make sure to address all the elements of the OREC Burger as you model your response: opinion, reasons, evidence, and closure.
- Ask for a student volunteer to come up to the whiteboard or projector, and write their opinion on the second portion of the chart. Provide more than one line for them to write on.
- Have the class grade the student’s response by performing a self-evaluation using the OREC Burger as a grading rubric against the volunteer’s opinion sentence. Great questions to ask the class include: Did our volunteer provide his opinion? Did our volunteer provide a reason? Did our volunteer give us evidence by using the word because? Did our volunteer give us a sense of closure?
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Tell students that today, they will be writing an opinion piece about their favorite superhero.
- Remind them that to create a good essay, they must follow the OREC Burger structure and provide an opinion, reasons, evidence, and sense of closure.
- Ask them to provide more than one reason for their opinion.
- Enrichment: Have students whom need more of a challenge provide three reasons in their writing.
- Support: Modify instruction for students who are struggling by having them draw a picture of their opinion first, and then provide them with a sentence starter strip that reads: I like ____, because ____.
- An interactive whiteboard can be used to project the attachments during class.
Related Books and/or Media
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Assessment (10 minutes)
- When finished, ask students to conference with you and provide a grade using the OREC Burger as a rubric, giving one point for each of the four elements (opinion, reason, evidence, closure) that a student addresses successfully.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Write the definition of the word opinion on the board, and have students practice saying opinions to each other through Think-Pair-Share.