Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Strengthening Our Opinion Writing

I have posted about persuasive writing (opinion) before, Persuasive Writing Goodies For The New Year, but this year I became more thoughtful about what a strong opinion piece looks like.  The common core standard for opinion writing states, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

I really felt that the beginning of the unit opinion pieces from my students lack the writer's voice that their informational and narrative pieces had.  When I looked at the standard again I realized that introducing the topic and providing and sense of closure were areas we could improve.

We started with grabbing the reader's attention.  We look to authors for ideas from the following books: 

Here is our chart we created...
After reading the author's introductions we studied them and labeled them with the strategy the author used.  We found that authors Introduce self or topic, Ask a question, Use actions and feelings, Change the reader's mind, Give reason first, and Give a fact.

Here is a close up of the strategy Introduce self or topic from I Wish I had Glasses Like Rosa.

The following day we honed in on providing a sense of closure.  Again we looked to the same authors. I typed out the closure of each book and then as a class we labeled the strategies that the authors used.   We found that they ended with an Action, Dialogue, Restating revised opinion, and Referred back to a story detail.

These lessons really helped my students add interest by choosing a strategy for both the introduction and the closure.  I hope it helps you too :)


  1. This is so helpful! I copied your anchor chart and used it this week. I think it really helped us match mentor authors with our own writing!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. It’s quite effective and produces positive results! Great job! I do believe that in order to be effective, you should first listen. Learn to listen first so that you’ll have your turn to be speak up and be listened or appreciated, too! Thanks a lot for sharing this very informative topic. I owe you one! Have a nice day!

    Doctoral Programs by Dora