Giving each student one sandwich cookie to munch on while they worked on these organizers helped keep them excited about the whole process. After we worked our way through several of the Scholastic News opinion pieces, my third graders also thought of issues pertinent to their own lives and school experiences they wanted to write about, including: Should birthday treats and bagel sales be banned at school? Should all peanut products be banned?
Should we be allowed to download our own apps on the iPads the school gave us? As we continued to practice, different organizers were introduced. Those are shown below. Simply click on each image to download and print your own copy. The organizer below is my favorite to use once the students are more familiar with the structure of opinion paragraphs. It establishes the structure, but also helps students remember to use opinion-based sentence starters along with transition words.
Below is a simple organizer some of my students can also choose to use. Other Resources I Have Used Scholastic offers many different resources for helping your students become better with their opinion writing, or for younger writers, understanding the difference between fact and opinion.
Click on the images below to download and print. There are many more sheets like these in Scholastic Teachables.
A couple weeks into our persuasive writing unit and I have already seen a lot of progress from our very first efforts. We may not have mastered this writing yet, but we are definitely on our way and that mountain doesn't seem quite so high anymore. I hope you find a few of these tips and my graphic organizers helpful!
Which sport or team is the best? What makes it better than the others? No slacking. Write an essay persuading a fellow student to do their homework. Class trip. This year, students get to vote on where to go for a class trip. Which would you rather be: a top student, a talented athlete, or an accomplished artist?
Virtual athletes. Video games competitions are often aired on TV and treated like sports competitions. Should video games be considered sports? Class debate. Prompts About Relationships Friendships, dating, and other relationships can be both rewarding and exasperating. These writing prompts about relationships will help students explore their feelings about both the positive and the negative moments.
Your best friend tells you about his plan to cheat on a test. Should you tell an adult? Give it a chance. Your best friend is convinced that she would hate your favorite book, even though she's never read it.
Convince her to read it. Friendships vs. Are friendships or romantic relationships more important in life? Driving age. What age do kids start driving in your state? Is that age too old, too young, or just right? Truth or consequences. Your best friend asks your opinion about something, but you know that a truthful answer will hurt her feelings. What do you do? Who chooses? Your best friend is visiting, and you want to watch TV together, but his favorite show is at the same time as your favorite show.
Convince him that your show is a better choice. Fun times. What is the most fun thing you and your best friend have ever experienced together? Why does it deserve the top spot? Are long-term dating relationships good or bad for teens? New friends. You want to spend time with a new student at school, but your best friend is jealous. Convince your friend of the importance of including the newcomer. Be mine. Debbie Downer. Should you cut ties with friends or relatives who are always negative?
He loves me not. Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Should you respect your elders merely because they are older, or is respect something that must be earned?
Prompts About Family, Pets, and Leisure Time The following writing prompts related to family, furry friends, and free time will help students reflect on preferences, ethics, and integrity. This time, you're the one who needs convincing!
Write an essay to persuade yourself to start a healthy habit or kick a bad habit. Paper wars. Should toilet paper hang with the loose end resting on the top of the roll or hanging from the bottom? Movie vs. Choose a book that has been made into a movie. Which version is better, and why? Weekend wanderings. Do you prefer to stay home on the weekends or get out and do things around town?
Write an essay to convince your parents to let you do what you prefer this weekend. Craft a winning essay that convinces them they need to choose you. Zoo debate. Is it ethical to keep animals in zoos? Presence of pets. Should there be limits on the types of places pets can go e. Inspiring stories.Many Scholastic news articles are perfect to use because they are short, and for the most part have a structure that is similar to how I want my students to write. Mint should stop making pennies. Is the american dream worth pursuing essay writer, Model, Model! Once students read the article about pennies, they were ready to form an opinion. After discussing the pros and cons with partners, the class took sides.
Should toilet paper hang with the loose end resting on the top of the roll or hanging from the bottom? Are long-term dating relationships good or bad for teens?
Is it better to read books in print or digitally? Why or why not?
Once students had planned out two different opinions, they selected one to turn into a full paragraph in their writer's notebooks.
Why does it deserve the top spot? We may not have mastered this writing yet, but we are definitely on our way and that mountain doesn't seem quite so high anymore. Write an essay to convince your teacher to assign less homework. Does living a minimalist lifestyle make for a happier life? These writing prompts about relationships will help students explore their feelings about both the positive and the negative moments. Why is it the best?
Use these writing prompts to kick off the brainstorming process. Do aliens exist? Co-ed conflict. Should video games be considered sports? Your school is trying to decide on a famous person to give a speech or presentation to students.
Do students still need to learn cursive handwriting? What is the most fun thing you and your best friend have ever experienced together? What do you do? Why or why not? There are many more sheets like these in Scholastic Teachables. Do you prefer to stay home on the weekends or get out and do things around town?
Vacation day. Use the following opinion writing prompts to inspire them to start thinking and writing persuasively. Are video games generally a positive or a negative influence? Convince him that your show is a better choice. Dollar discovery.