Opinion writing can be so hard for kids, partly because it requires such a strong structure to make sense.

How can you make it easier?  Check out these tips, tricks, and mentor texts suggestions!

TOPICS

Find a topic that truly motivates kids.  Think about what your students like.  We have done favorite kinds of cookies or candies, complete with a taste test. My favorite was taste testing the different kinds of M&M’s such as the dark chocolate, peanut butter, and plain! Then, we wrote about or favorite and least favorite! Yum!

However, students can also tackle opinions on bigger topics such as a 4 day school week. I would suggest these more complex topics after writing about some simpler topics.

PROS AND CONS

Allow students to get to know their topics very well.  Invite students to brainstorm the “pros” and “cons” of the topic.  That will give students a chance to really cement their opinion, and provide reasoning for their opinion.

FACTS AND OPINIONS

Once students are able to provide reasons, they can back their opinion up with useful facts.  In order to do this, students need to feel confident differentiating between fact and opinions. This can be a difficult concept for some and they may need many exposures to fact and opinion.  I love using sorts to identify fact and opinion.

FORMAT

I know that format such as OREO (opinion, reason, explanation, opinion) are popular for teaching opinion writing.  I have used them myself.  However, I would caution against using this as the ONLY format for teaching opinion writing.  Students need to realize that expository writing has a format across all purposes (writing to inform, describe, or explain). Before using OREO consider, discuss and participating the simpler format of topic sentence, details, closing sentence and THEN relating this format to the OREO method. OREO only works for one purpose of writing, but the other works across purposes.

After reviewing the text structure, students can order opinion paragraphs so that they make sense. This allows students to analyze a small portion of text (a handful of sentences) to identify topic, details, and a closing before applying it to their own writing.

Like all these activities?  You can snag them in my Exploring the Opinion Paragraph Pack here!

MENTOR TEXTS

Are you looking for some mentor text suggestions?  Check these out! These book suggestions are affiliate links which means that if you clicked on a link and made a purchase I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU!!!







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