EL Support Lesson

Identify and Develop an Opinion

Use this lesson to teach your students how to express opinions about nonfiction topics. This lesson can stand alone or be used as a pre-lesson for the *What Does the Author Think?* lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What Does the Author Think? lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What Does the Author Think? lesson plan.

Students will be able to recognize and define the author's viewpoint of a text.


Students will be able to express opinions with pronouns using sentence stems.

(3 minutes)
  • Display the following sentence stems on the board:
    • I like ____.
    • He/She likes ____.
  • Ask students to complete the sentence about any topic of their choice. Give students time to think about a sentence, and then have them share with a partner. Call on volunteers to share their sentence with the whole group.
  • Tell students that they just shared their opinion about a topic. Explain that an opinion is what you think about something or somebody. Emphasize that we all have opinions about the things we see, feel, hear, taste, smell, say, read, and experience in our lives.
  • Share that the objective of the lesson is to form and express opinions based on what we read.
(8 minutes)
  • Introduce the tiered vocabulary words by handing out a set of Vocabulary Cards to each student. Explain that the vocabulary words on the cards will help them better understand concepts and nonfiction texts throughout the lesson.
  • Display each vocabulary card, read aloud the word, and have students repeat the word aloud. Then, do the same for the definitions.
  • Have students focus on the cards for opinion and pronoun and point out that they do not have images on them. Model writing down an example of an opinion on the teacher copy of the vocabulary card. For example, "I think we should have more trains in the city." Have students create their own opinion example and record it on their vocabulary card.
  • Display a list of pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) and record them on your pronoun vocabulary card. Instruct students to do the same.
  • Distribute a Glossary worksheet to each student and have them label the last column as Parts of Speech. Model how to find the part of speech for the first word by looking in a dictionary or an online version.
  • Pair students and give them access to a dictionary to find the parts of speech of the remaining words. Go over them as a class and create a teacher copy of the Glossary for reference throughout the lesson as needed.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the following sentence frames on the board:
    • ____ (name) likes ____.
    • ____ (subject pronoun) likes ____.
  • Model using your name to complete the first sentence frame. For example, "Ms. Alexander likes to eat spaghetti." Circle your name (Ms. Alexander) and underneath, write the words subject pronoun. Explain to the students that subject pronouns take the place of the nouns that are the subject of the sentence.
  • Refer to the pronoun vocabulary card and explain to students that the words they wrote down are all subject pronouns. Model thinking aloud and say, "I want to rewrite the sentence using a subject pronoun instead of my name. Which subject pronoun would work?" Encourage students to refer to their pronoun vocabulary card for support.
  • Allow a student to come up to the board to finish the second sentence frame, using the subject pronoun. Ask the student to read the sentence aloud.
  • Create partnerships and pass out whiteboards and whiteboard markers. Have the students use the sentence frames to create the two opinion sentences. Encourage learners to read the sentences aloud to their partner.
  • Invite volunteers to share their sentences with the whole group. Remind the class that opinions are what you think about something or somebody, and when you share your own opinion, the correct pronoun to use is I. Ask students to consider when a different pronoun would be used in an opinion statement. Allow the class to discuss.
  • Explain that sometimes authors include their opinion in their writing. Sometimes it is a very clear, stated opinion, but sometimes you have to look for clues to figure out what the author thinks about the topic. To speak about an author's opinion, the pronoun he or she might be best. For example, "She thinks that whales are beautiful creatures."
(12 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet entitled Develop an Opinion about a Nonfiction Topic to each student. Go over the information at the top to review the definition of an opinion and how to create an opinion statement. Tell students that they will form an opinion about nonfiction topics based on a passage, and they will also provide a reason to support their opinion.
  • Read aloud the first passage, and ask students to circle any vocabulary words they noticed. Model answering the question and expressing your opinion and reason on the lines.
  • Instruct students to work in partnerships to read the second and third passages together. Have them write their own opinion statement with a reason.
  • Call on nonvolunteers to share their completed sentence frames.
  • Remind the class that we have opinions about the big and little things in our lives, and we will often be asked, "Why?" It is important to be able to share our reasons and evidence to explain our opinions.


  • Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
  • Provide sentence stems and sentence frames for students to utilize in group discussions.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
(4 minutes)
  • Ask students to form an opinion and create a sentence about a familiar topic in their school life, such as recess, homework, or riding the bus. Have students write their sentence on an index card to serve as an Exit Ticket.
  • Remind students to use the sentence stem, "I think ____." Direct them to circle the pronouns in the sentence.
(3 minutes)
  • Ask students to discuss the following questions:
    • What types of things do we form opinions about?
    • How do opinions help us when we read nonfiction?
    • Do authors share their opinions through their writing? How do you know?

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