Develop your students written expression with our Opinion Writing Lesson Plan. This lesson guides students to successfully write a five-paragraph opinion paper that clearly states an opinion and supports the opinion with facts and information. Students will be able to organize information into a specific opinion essay format.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Ask students, “Do you think we should have some extra recess today?” Listen to responses. Say, “You just gave me your opinions, yes, or no. What is an opinion?” Allow students to define opinion, and guide to an appropriate definition, “An opinion is a personal feeling that others may or may not share.”
- Ask students to defend their opinion about extra recess. Ask, “Okay, tell me some reasons why we should go out for extra recess.” Students will probably give reasons such as, “It’s fun”, “We don’t want to stay in”, “We’ve been good” etc. Tell them that while you understand their reasons, you feel like they haven’t defended their opinions as well as they could have.
- Introduce opinion writing- learning how to defend your opinions with facts and reasons. The students might not earn extra recess right now, but perhaps allow extra recess or indoor free time if they do well in presenting opinions in writing. That is at the discretion of the teacher.
- Read opinion paper, Owning a Pet. After reading have students identify: a. What is the author’s opinion about owning pets? (In favor of) b. How can you tell? She specifically said, “Owning pets is something all children should experience.” or other statements. c. How was the opinion supported? The author gives reasons and facts. d. What are some examples? Students list facts or reasons used.
- Say, “So, in order to convince others to share your opinion, you have to explain the reasons you have the opinion. Then it helps if your reasons are supported by examples and facts. Opinions are personal beliefs, but facts are statements that are proven to be true, and examples show what has actually happened.”
- Ask students to work independently to brainstorm a list of topics they have strong opinions about.
- Share items from volunteers and create a large class list on the board. Discuss which topics are great, which might need a little work, or need to be reworded to be clear.
- Create an anchor chart that covers the steps of writing a great opinion paper. Use the acronym OREO.
O : State your opinion in the topic sentence.
R: Support your opinion with three or four reasons.
E: Provide examples, facts, and quotes from experts that support your opinion
O: Re-state your opinion.
- Briefly review essay paragraph structure. Introduce keywords used when writing an opinion essay, as found in this helpful chart:
- Tell students they will write their own opinion essays after they practice identifying key opinion essay features.
- Have students re-read and actively read the Owning a Pet essay and complete the first activity sheet.
- Students should be given time to pick a topic and list reasons that support their opinion. Students will individually work on formatting and planning their essay using graphic organizers and guidelines on the second activity page.
- Students will research and complete the rough draft of their opinion essay. If students are not familiar with navigating online research, tips for finding reliable sources can be found here: https://eduscapes.com/tap/topic32.htm.
- Students will peer edit essays before teacher-student conferences about the piece. Tips for successful peer editing/ peer conferencing can be found at: https://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/ post/2014/10/07/5-peer-conferencing-strategies-that-actually-work
- Students can complete final draft and present to the class or small groups (at the discretion of the teacher).
Common Core State Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose
Class Sessions (45 minutes): 3 class sessions, depending on ability level of students and amount of time allowed for student discussion, etc.
Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!