Now that students have a general understanding of the traits in an opinion essay, I get them started with a prompt statement. These prompt statements go beyond having students tell what they like about an animal, sport, or food. A prompt statement offers an opinion and requires students to express their own opinion either in favor or against it. These mirror the assessments students will see in my school so I like to keep our practice prompts of a similar style.
Opinion Writing Prompt Introduction
We start our week of writing with an introduction to the prompt. One great aspect of opinion writing is that these prompts will definitely spark student discussion! Just read the statement that kids below the age of 12 shouldn’t have a smartphone and then wait all of half a second to see their reactions. Priceless. I love how engaged the class becomes at the beginning of the writing experience. We spend some time in small group and partner discussions of the prompt so that everyone has a chance to share and listen.
I love walking around the classroom during these discussions. My students are so engaged, so active in their learning…and that enthusiasm will soon translate into their writing for the week. Another added bonus is that such discussions give some students the extra support they need before they actually put pencil to paper. It’s almost as if the talking gets them warmed up mentally to start writing. Plus, the kids just enjoy having a chance to talk with their peers.
Tomorrow I’ll share how we take the ideas generated in our discussions and use them in our Analysis Charts – another pre-writing exercise for opinion writing.