Lesson Plan

Opinion Writing: Brainstorming to Establish Credibility

Opinion writers need to establish credibility so that their audience will value their opinion. In this lesson, your students learn how to establish themselves as authorities on their chosen writing topics.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to generate a list of topics for which they have an opinion, and with which they have experience. This will support them as they construct effective opinion pieces in their writing throughout the year.

Introduction

(5 minutes)
Brainstorm SheetText Samples
  • Tell your students a story about a time someone gave you a recommendation that didn't have tangible merit. For example: The other day, I was cleaning out my closet and I found an old board game that used to belong to my older brother. My friend, who was with me at the time, told me this board game isn’t any fun. I almost listened to him, but I ended up playing it with my parents anyway. We loved it! After I told my friend how enjoyable it was, I found out that he'd never even played the game himself. In fact, he doesn’t even own any board games! He was not an authority on the topic of board games, and I’m so glad he didn’t convince me to leave the game box unopened.
  • Explain to your class that today, they will brainstorm a list of topics that they have knowledge of and care about. They will use this brainstorming list to write an opinion piece. Since they'll have knowledge of their topics, their audience will value their viewpoints.