A 60 minute lesson in which students will identify and explore the organizational structure of an opinion piece.
- Ask the students to recall some of the skills they used when arguing verbally with their partner e.g. using a convincing tone of voice, choosing strong, emotive words and drawing upon facts to back up their viewpoint. Explain that, just as there are techniques needed to argue effectively when speaking, there are also techniques needed to express a strong opinion in writing.
- Display and discuss slide 5 of the Writing Opinion Texts PowerPoint. Encourage the students to suggest some other possible topics that an opinion piece might be written about.
- Discuss the structure of opinion texts, as outlined on slide 6. Discuss the first example text on slides 7-9, then encourage the students to label the second example text on slides 10-12.
- Provide the students with a copy of the Opinion Texts Sequencing Activity. Read through the instructions for the task and answer any questions the students may have.
- Allow the students to work through the sequencing worksheets independently. Monitor and support the students as required.
- As a class, discuss the correct sequence for each of the opinion texts. Discuss any techniques used by the students to help them sequence the texts e.g. using connectives to order arguments.
- Select a range of goals for the unit from the Goals – Writing (Upper Elementary) and discuss these with the students. Allow the students to ask questions about each goal and encourage them to suggest some success criteria for each. Display these goals in an obvious place in the classroom for the duration of the unit.
- Encourage more capable students to peer tutor others who may need assistance with the sequencing activity.
- Allow less confident students to be supported by peer tutors, or to work in a smaller group with a teacher or teacher aide.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
- used strategic whole class or individual questioning
- observed student participation during learning activities
- recorded student progress on a checklist
- annotated student work samples
- collected and reviewed student work samples
- facilitated whole class or peer feedback sessions
- encouraged student self-reflection
- administered formal assessment tasks.
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