Do First Grade Opinions Matter?
Students will learn their opinions do matter in a classroom community of first graders.
- Gather your students together to begin.
- Tell your students that today they'll be writing an opinion that matters.
- Ask your class if they know what an opinion is. After some discussion, define an opinion as what someone believes or feels about something.
- Explain that we often have reasons that support our opinions. Define reason as a convincing thought or piece of information.
- Tell your students that every opinion in the classroom deserves respect. Define respect as showing and accepting that one's thoughts, ideas, and abilities are important.
- Explain that understanding another's opinion is an important life skill.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling(10 minutes)
- Hang the list of topics for students to view, using a document projector, interactive whiteboard, or chart paper.
- Read the list of topics aloud to your students. Then, choose your favorite.
- Tell your students that you're going to write your opinion about your favorite topic. Hang the teacher made poster My Opinion Matters and write your opinion about the topic. Alternatively, you can display the worksheet using a document projector or interactive whiteboard.
- Next, tell your students you're going to write three reasons to support your opinion. Think aloud as you write them down on the displayed worksheet.
- Reread your opinion and reasons. Ask students if your reasons convinced them and if your opinion matters. Listen to any responses.
- Answer any questions that students may have about your model.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling(15 minutes)
- Hang or display another My Opinion Matters worksheets for your students to view.
- Pass out the "Your Opinion Matters" sign to each student. Go over the rules of holding the sign.
- Tell your class to help you choose another favorite topic from the list.
- Ask three students, one at a time, to give their opinion about the topic. Write each opinion on the organizer.
- Next instruct students hold up their "Your Opinion Matters" sign once an opinion is given. This is to show every first grader's opinion is respected in class. Continue two more times. Read to see if all three opinions are different.
- Then choose one opinion and ask three students to give you a reason to support the opinion. Write each reason below the opinion.
- When completed, reread the opinion and reasons.
- Ask your students if the opinion and reasons make sense, and if the reasons support the opinion. Listen to any responses.
Independent Working Time(20 minutes)
- Before working independently, ask students if they understand that every opinion matters in first grade.
- Pass out the worksheet My Opinion Matters, one to each student. Explain that it's identical to the one you used to model.
- Tell your students that they're going to choose a different topic from the list and write their opinion with three convincing reasons.
- Ask if there are any questions. If not, instruct your students to take out a pencil and begin writing.
- Encourage advanced students to choose any topic to write an opinion and three convincing reasons.
- Have students who need additional support write one reason to support their opinion.
Measuring understanding and assessment can be observed and completed during independent work time and closing.
- As students are working independently, walk around and check in with each student. Observe if students are writing their opinions and reasons correctly. Help any students who are having difficulty. Keep reinforcing that each student's opinion matters.
- Record your observations.
- If additional time is needed for assessment, make observations and notes during closing, too.
Review and Closing(10 minutes)
- Divide class into groups of four.
- Tell students that they'll read their topic, opinion, and reasons to their group. Other students will hold up their "Your Opinion Matters" signs for the writer to see.
- Give the class a few minutes to share and ask questions.
- Next, select four students to share their opinion and reasons with class. Again, have students hold up their signs for the student who is sharing.
- To end the lesson, ask students to define opinion, reason, and respect.