One of the most popular and significant sorts of writing we teach our students is opinion writing. Here are five suggestions for teaching opinion writing, as well as information on the opinion writing mini-units we have developed for kindergarten, first, and second-grade children.
Informational, narrative, and opinion writing are the three basic categories of writing that make up the Common Core writing domain. Each genre has a certain function and adheres to a particular structure, both of which we must educate our pupils. In my previous piece, I provided advice and materials for teaching informative writing. Today, I’m eager to turn my attention to opinion writing.
One of my favorite genres to teach is opinion writing. Young pupils typically don’t hesitate to express their ideas on everything and everything! They are interested in the genre as a result.
Today, I’m going to provide you with five teaching suggestions on how to teach opinion writing, along with a great tool that has everything you need to integrate opinion writing into your literacy centers in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade.
Teaching Tips for Opinion Writing
- Read Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing
You must fully acquaint your students with a genre before you can ask them to write in it. You should therefore give your pupils some examples of opinion writing at the start of your subject. These role models serve as good models of opinion writing for students.
Note how the author has organized their work as you read them aloud. Determine the author’s issue or position and draw attention to the arguments used to support it. All of these strategies will aid students in understanding the kind of writing we are expecting them to complete.
There are a few things to take into account when choosing opinion mentor texts to share with your pupils. Do you, the educator, first, think it’s great? Is it simple for your kids to understand, secondly? Is it pertinent to the genre of writing you are teaching, to finish? You’re good to go if you check “Yes!” to each of the three questions.
- Practice Writing Your Own Opinions
I know I say this a lot, but it is worth saying again. Model whatever you want your pupils to do three times in a row! It is an effective teaching tool!
When instructing students in opinion writing, you should first practice topic selection. You can question yourself, “What do I know all about?” while you come up with suggestions. What matters to me? What do I wish others would think?
You can utilize straightforward “would you prefer” queries to generate ideas for an opinion piece if you believe that these inquiries are too general for your students. Would you rather have a dog or a cat, for instance? This can bring up the subject of “Dogs are the best pet.” Keep it straightforward and pick a subject that your pupils can relate to.
Next, demonstrate how you use a graphic organizer to schedule your writing. Show them how you begin by stating your position in a topic sentence. Create your supporting arguments next. Finish with the last phrase that restates your position.
Demonstrate how you use the visual organizer to direct your writing as you complete your entire work.
Finally, read your work aloud a final time to demonstrate to the pupils how you spot simple faults like spelling, capitalization, and punctuation mistakes. You can also demonstrate how you include extra justifications in your writing to persuade the reader.
- Utilize Anchor Charts
You want your students to understand that they are expressing their own opinions when they write an opinion piece. False information is being presented. Review the distinction between facts and opinions. Make an anchor chart that distinguishes between fact and opinion.
Review the language used in the genre specifically as well. Remind your students of the transitional or connecting words that link their opinions to their justifications.
Finally, using the writing you practiced, make an anchor chart. This will be yet another illustration of a great piece of opinion writing. Add labels to your shared writing as a class to indicate the topic phrase, arguments, and conclusion.
- Permit Students to Exchange and Revise Their Written Work
At your writing center, provide a good writers’ checklist. The checklist for opinion writing should ask questions like, “Do I have a topic phrase that communicates my opinion?” Additionally, there are prompts to double-check your spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, as well as the questions “Do I have supporting reasons?” and “Do I have a concluding sentence?”
A genre-specific rubric can also be established. Demonstrate how you evaluate your work using it and how you may use it to give others comments.
Provide pupils with the chance to exhibit their writing to others! Students should be paired up in pairs and allowed to read their writing aloud. Encourage children to offer suggestions using the editing checklist and the rubric as a guide.
- Give Students Chances to Write Daily
Like anything else, writing requires PRACTICE! Students need devoted instructional time to master the techniques and methods required to become proficient writers, as well as time to put what they have learned into practice. Make sure you are providing your students with adequate opportunities to practice their opinion writing through whole group instruction, small groups, and/or independent practice in writing centers when you consider your daily instructional program.