Friday, March 23, 2012

Writing Opinions

Yesterday I was at a workshop with our Instructional Literacy Team and I started to think about persuasive writing. In kindergarten it starts with writing opinions.  Do kindergartners have opinions?  Oh,  YES!

I started this morning with this chart.
This is an ugly chart... I admit it.  My cat looks a LOT like a pregnant kangaroo...I know!

I then began to tell my kids that sometimes we feel a certain way about something and we HAVE to tell people why.  So, now that we had committed to our opinions, we had to explain why we felt the way we did.       

Like everything we write, we started by talking about it.   I called on a few kids and they gave me their explanation.   I played dumb (an easy role for me),  "You like dogs?   But why?... But why? ... But why?"

After a few students spoke, they got the idea.  We noticed that we used the word because a LOT, so I wrote it down for them.  Then, I sent them on their way.

Here is what they came up with.  You can get a better view of their writing sample if you click on the image.
 After discussing this, he explained that the cat will chase the string and flip around trying to catch it... don't worry.

She used a caret to add text... no prompting on my part... Yay!

 Good if you are a dog... bad if you are a cat.
I think this one is so sweet... and YES, she is that sweet of a girl!

Let me explain...our school is very rural.  This student's brother has a cow that is so tame that she can ride on it.
 Um...  And we are in Missouri... enough said!

You want to get a copy and give it a whirl?
This was not our writer's workshop, but a quick little activity. I think if we continue to try opinion writing once a week we will get really good.

Will you let me know if you give this a try?   I would love to hear how it goes!


  1. I can't wait to try this with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten

  2. What wonderful writers you've helped to create and coach. I love this piece. When i first read opinion pieces I though, oh, boy. But, after reading this, I can see how to coach them along. Thanks for the plans.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy all your ideas for writing workshop. They are very helpful!

  4. I love seeing all of this writing! This is a great activity. Thank you for sharing it!
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. Great idea!! I'm going to try this with my first graders.... Just might step it up a notch:)

  6. Great Idea Deedee, I am going to give this a try with my little ones. Thanks for sharing.
    I am also going to join you book club this summer. I am ordering my book next.

    Please stop by my blog I have the "Lovely Blogger Award" for you.


  7. I am always looking for ways to get my kinders to write more than the minimum required. Having them explain or elaborate something is a great way to encourage that. I will be trying this!
    Thank you!

    Kindergarten Simplicity

  8. I'll pass this along to my kindergarten teachers at my school! Thanks:)

    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  9. I am pinning this for TBA! I love this!

  10. Would you consider guest blogging the first week of April while I am at a conference?

  11. I love this. I always love to look at other student writings as well. They give me perspective on where my kids are. There is no DRA level or anything to help assess with writing. It's very subjective and relative. Thank you so much!

    First in Maine

  12. Thanks for sharing. I love all your wonderful ideas. I've been struggling with how to get them started on this kind of writing since it's a common core standard. I meant to post earlier that I was definitely joining you for the book club this summer. I enjoyed reading all the posts last summer.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

  13. Thanks for the wonderful idea! I am going to try this with my students next week.

  14. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I love your blog. I teach in rural Missouri also, so I understand about the raccoon!

  15. Thanks you all that you share. It is great!

  16. Thanks for the ideas and the pictures of your kids' writing. Fun to see. Renee

  17. Thanks for the download! I'm going to try this next week with my Kindergartners :)

  18. I did this lesson today with my 5K class and it went so well! It was very easy for the kids to understand and they enjoyed it as well. Thank you so much for sharing the printouts and lesson!


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