Opinion Essay Essentials
Students will be able to identify the parts of an essay and generate ideas in their own graphic organizer.
- Ask students to work with a partner or with a table group and consider how they would respond if the principal said they were going to take recess away. Change this issue out with a different one if it doesn’t apply.
- They will have strong feelings, but direct them to generate a list of reasons for their position.
- Share responses and decide on three main reasons as a class. Write them on the board.
- Tell students that they just created an outline for an opinion/persuasive essay.
- Discuss possible titles for the essay. Examples might include: "Recess: A Key to Learning," "Recess is Good for Kids," and "Why Recess Shouldn’t Be Disposable."
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Distribute the worksheet Opinion Essay: Anchor Paper.
- Go over the instructions and read the essay together.
- As a class, follow the steps on the bottom. Students will mark up the essay, identifying each of the parts.
- Add additional explanation about each of the parts as needed.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Distribute scissors, construction paper, and glue.
- Distribute the worksheet Opinion Essay: Mixed Up Essay.
- Go over the instructions together and then support students as they assemble the essay outline.
- Students will arrange the strips in a variety of ways. Having the freedom to do this will help them think about how the ideas are related and organized.
- Review the correct arrangement using the answer key, discussing discrepancies if needed. The order of topics or details is not important — only that they are grouped correctly.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Distribute the worksheet Opinion Essay: Idea Map.
- Students will practice generating a hierarchical structure of information by creating a web of their own.
- You may choose to have students actually write an essay based on this idea web.
- Give clues for the Mixed Up Essay activity by providing one or more of the topics or getting them started with the title.
- Instruct students to write an opinion/persuasive essay based on their idea web.
- Instruct students to examine the structure of other nonfiction texts. How is it similar? How is it different?
- Provide three details and have students write a reasonable topic that they would support if arranged in a paragraph.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Discuss: How is the structure of an opinion/persuasive essay different from the structure of a narrative/story?