- Third Grade
- 115 minutes
- Standards: W.3.1
Do your students have strong opinions? This lesson, which features a bunch of fun essay-building exercises, provides an outlet for young writers to express their opinions.
Students will be able to write short essays that include opinions and reasons that support them.
Introduction (15 minutes)
- Distribute copies of the What is an Opinion sheet.
- Through discussion, have the students help you develop a definition for the word "opinion."
- Have them write down the definition on their practice sheet and complete the second portion on their own.
- Have students take out paper and pencils. Each student will now write a two paragraph essay stating one of his opinions, as well as three reasons why he has that opinion.
- Distribute the Conclusion worksheets. Have students use it to summarize their stated opinions and reasons.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (25 minutes)
- The remaining two worksheets (My Topic and Connectors) will be used for group instruction.
- Work as a group to understand the parts of an persuasive essay and establish expectations for the final writing assignment.
- Have students select a topic to write on.
- Hand out copies of the My Topic worksheet.
- On the board, model how to state an opinion on the topic. You may want to choose a different topic to model so students do not copy your examples.
- It is crucial that students understand how to give relevant reasons to support their opinion. Give some examples of reasons that do not support your opinion, and discuss with students why these reasons are not valid support for your opinion.
- Demonstrate proficient supporting reasons for an opinion.
- Discuss and check for student understanding.
- Tell the students they will try this strategy on their My Topic worksheets.
- Ask them to write down their topic, opinion, and three supporting reasons.
- Have students volunteer to read their opinion and one of their reasons.
- Discuss student answers and have students contribute to giving feedback.
- Continue with this activity until most students seem to have a clear understanding of how to write a supporting reason.
- Introduce the connector words "because," "since," and "for example."
- Demonstrate how the connector words can be used in a sentence to connect supporting details to the opinion.
- Tell students they will be practicing this strategy with the next practice sheet.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)
- Distribute copies of the Connector worksheets.
- The worksheet will provide a structure for students to create connections between their opinions and their supporting reasons.
- Review the procedure they will follow on their worksheets.
- Once students have finished working, have them return to their Conclusion worksheets.
- Have them use the backs of the sheets to write several concluding sentences and summarize their opinions.
- Have each student work with a partner and share feedback.
- Walk around and monitor student progress and quality of work.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Have students use their worksheets to create a two paragraph opinion essay.
- The first paragraph will introduce their topic and opinion with supporting reasons.
- Remind students to use the statements they created with connector words.
- The second paragraph will consist of their conclusion sentences.
- Enrichment: Challenge advanced students by asking them to write three or more paragraphs.
- Support: Work with struggling students in a small group to monitor their progress and guide them through the writing process.
Assessment (15 minutes)
- Collect and review students' final essays to assess their mastery of the process of opinion writing.
Review and Closing (15 minutes)
- Ask for student volunteers to read their writing to the class.
- Discuss the writing and point out successful usage of the strategies you went over.