Dear Teacher: Opinion Letters
Students will learn how to conduct a survey to determine classmates' opinions and to write a letter to the teacher that gives a reason and a solution to a personal or school-wide concern.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Bring prepared list of student concerns to a group area and call students to join you there.
- Tell students that the classroom is a safe place to share our feelings, or opinions, and that today they will find out how to share those in a survey and a letter.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Begin reading each item of concerns on your prepared list and ask students to respond with opinions or ideas for change.
- Write and underline the titles Opinion and Solution on the board and add student input as each one shares.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Tell students it's their turn to find out how to write down concerns of their classmates with an opinion survey, which is a count of what concerns we have and how many share the same concerns.
- Direct students to conduct interviews to find out classmate concerns. Tell them to write and underline the concern on the paper and to add tally marks under it each time the concern is voiced.
- Students gather together after the survey to share results.
- Teacher adds any new concerns to the board.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Pass out the My Opinion Counts worksheet and give the directions for completion.
- Direct students to write a letter to the teacher on the back that addresses one of the concerns from the worksheet or survey.
- Enrichment: Advanced students can draft a letter to the principal based on a common concern and ask for a follow-up meeting with the administrator to determine what, if any, action will be taken.
- Support: Students challenged by writing can dictate answers to a peer mentor or to the teacher.
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Collect worksheets with teacher letters and score the level of proficiency of a(n):
- clearly explained concern.
- reason for the concern.
- idea for change.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Gather students together to debrief what they found to be the most common concern. Discuss if this is surprising or not.
- Ask for proposals for change and tell students you will review the worksheets and letters and will follow up with each one individually with either a letter or conference.