Opinion writing is one of my favorite writing units to teach. There are so many great mentor texts you can read and great activities that also go along with writing opinions. This skill is important for kids to work on because they often have no problem sharing their opinion, but can struggle to back it up with reasons why. Often when we first start the unit, students tell me that “I just like it,” or “it’s my favorite because.” Through literature, engaging activities, and prompts we can help support students with writing their opinions.
Today I will share some ideas to help support students writing their opinion, mentor texts, activities, and writing prompt ideas.
Sentence stems can be a great way to scaffold learning. Often time students have ideas about what they want to say, but struggle with the right way to get the words out. I like to use the following sentence stems with my students for opinion writing…
I like _____ because _______.
My favorite ______ is ______ because _______.
In addition to going over the sentence stems as a class, I will often leave them up on the board so students can refer back to them later or write them on an anchor chart.
Opinion Writing Book Ideas
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I absolutely love these books I’m sharing with you today! These books are fun and engaging and can provide great opinion writing activities.
Earrings! by Judith Viorst
Earrings! is a great book to read when teaching opinion writing. In this story, the girl is trying to convince her parents why she should be able to get earrings. Afterwards, have your students write their opinion about whether or not she should be able to get earrings and why.
I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff
I Wanna Iguana is about a boy who is trying to convince his parents that he should be able to get a pet iguana. Most kids will relate to this story since many of them have asked for a pet before too. After reading, you could have students write about whether or not the boy should get an iguana or why. You could also have students write about a pet they want and provide reasons why.
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing is a funny book about animals in clothes that don’t quite work. After reading students can write their response – Should animals wear clothing? Why or why not?
Anytime you can bring food into a lesson kids will love it! There are many different food items you could bring in for students to write opinions about. You could bring in two different fruits. Each student tries both fruits and writes their opinion about which one they like better.
One of my favorite activities is Oreo Opinions. There are many different flavors of Oreos and who doesn’t like trying cookies in class! Bring in two different flavors, have your students taste test them, and pick which one they like best. They they write their opinion for their favorite flavor of Oreo.
I’ve used Thinking Maps at past schools and the circle map graphic organizer works well with Opinion Writing. In the middle circle students write their opinion. Then, in the outer circle, students write the reasons supporting their opinion.
Opinion Writing Prompts
There are so many different prompts you can provide students to help them write their opinion. Students can write about their favorite food, favorite pet, and more. I actually have some prompts already created for you in my TPT store. These are great during your opinion unit, for early finishers, or as a literacy station or literacy center activity.
Opinion Writing Cards and Digital Version
Would You Rather Writing Prompts and Digital Version
The Would You Rather prompt (digital and printable) let students choose which option they would prefer and then write why. There are more serious prompts in here, but also a lot of silly ones too! Includes 60 different prompts ready to go!
I hope you found these ideas helpful! I enjoy teaching this unit every year and love using the books and activities I shared today to teach opinion writing.