Getting Started with Opinion Writing

As we begin our unit on opinion writing, I wanted my students to realize that there are many different types of opinion statements…from as simple as requiring a yes or no answer (“Do you agree that school uniforms should be required?”) to more numerical/quantifiable opinions (“How many days long should our school year be?”) to more open-ended statements requiring students to provide their own idea (“In your opinion, what is the best brand of pizza?”).  To get my students thinking, I provided them with the following 32 topics and asked them to work with a team to sort them into categories and to be ready to give each category a label.  I wasn’t really interested in a “correct” answer—just in getting them to realize that opinion statements come in many shapes and sizes!  Different groups sorted in different ways, and it was a lot of fun to talk about all the different categories they made.  This was our first day of our opinion writing unit—and the students got REALLY excited about some of the topics!

Trying to come up with "headings" for our categories
After we finished made piles, we did a gallery walk to see what the other groups did.  We then met together as a class and discussed our findings!

By the time we finished, we were able to have a great discussion about what an opinion is and how when we write about our opinions, we need to be able to state them clearly and back them up with several strong, reasonable reasons!  Not bad for a day’s work!

Interested in these cards and the next two days of lessons?  I did "pretty it up" by request, so if you are interested in a 3 day "kick off" to opinion writing, here you go!  I also included links to my two opinion demand prompt sets for those of you who are interested...I marked all three on sale for this week.  

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