Monday, February 22, 2016

Opinion Writing Lessons

We have been learning about opinion writing from our district writing TOSA, Mrs. Andrews. Here is what we've learned.

1. What is an opinion? How is it different than a fact?

A fact is true. A fact can be proven through research and/or by using your own eyes to verify

An opinion is what a person thinks or believes. It cannot be proven. When stating an opinion, it is important to have reasons to support your opinion. 

2. How should you begin writing an opinion piece? 

Mrs. Andrew recommends making a list of all the reasons that  support an opinion. Here is a surprising opinion about Disneyland with a list of reasons.

3. What should you do with your list of reasons? 

Choose your top three reasons for your opinion writing piece. The most important reason should be your last reason

Then come up with support sentences for your reasons. Explain your reasons. Give examples.

4. Write a first draft of your opinion.  

The easiest part for many was coming up with reasons. The hardest part was supporting each reason. Many students ended up writing a paragraph made up of reasons.


To avoid confusion, Mrs. Yollis cut up sheets of colored paper and placed them in an opinion writing center. 

OPINION SENTENCE: on green paper
REASON SENTENCES: on  yellow paper
2 SUPPORT SENTENCES: on pink paper 
CONCLUSION SENTENCE: on green paper 

Below is a photo of the opinion center box. A completed opinion piece is taped together and displayed to the right of the opinion center. Because the strips of paper could easily be taped together, revision was easy! 

For the first two opinion pieces, the topics were chosen by Mrs. Yollis. 

First opinion piece: 

Which Chris Van Allsburg book is the best? 

We had done an author study on Chris Van Allsburg, so it was a great beginning point for opinion writing. Students had one week to write a draft on the color-coded paper, type it in Google Classroom, and then revise it with help from peers and/or the teacher. Final opinion paragraphs were copied and pasted from Google Classroom to the class blog. You can read the final opinions in the comment section here.  

Second opinion piece:

The Daily 5 is great.
 That was the unanimous opinion!

As a class, we listed all the reasons to love the Daily 5.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Next, students wrote rough drafts using the color-coded strips. Once the color coded strips were approved by Mrs. Yollis, students went in and typed the Daily 5 opinion piece in Google Classroom. 

Students used this chart with useful words and phrases to give the opinion piece the final touches. 

This week, students will write and publish an opinion piece all on their own! Here are a few ideas that we brainstormed together.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

What is your opinion about this opinion writing process? 

Which step is the easiest? 
Which step is the hardest? 


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I think creating this post was a splendid idea.

    First of all, it's helpful. For instance, when I got home, I forgot what the difference between an opinion and narrative was. So, I looked a your post and suddenly, all of it came back to mind!

    In addition, it's good. When I go home, my parents are eager to hear what I did/learned at school. Sometimes, I don't know how to explain it... They can just look at your blog post.

    Clearly, creating this post was a fabulous idea!


  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis (dear colleague),
    I really love ypur post about how to create an opinion essay. As I am working on it in the classroom, can I be inspired by your suggestions? I think it great how you explained to define our opinions and give them a priority list. After that literally create the essay with couloured pieces of paper.
    Sorry I am not a mother tongue, so I hope I haven't made too many errors or mistakes ��
    Thank you again for inspiration and useful hint which I will for sure give to my classes and work with.
    Mrs. Dorigo from Italy

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I think this opinion piece is a fun thing to do. One reason why opinion writing is fun is because the teacher does not always assign which opinion you have to choose. For example, I got to choose my opinion which was “Girl Scouts is best”. Other people maybe chose their opinions as “Soccer is the best sport, “Football is the best sport or maybe “Universal Studios is fun.”

    Another reason why opinion writing is fun is sometimes, there are amazing reasons that you have. For instance, on my “Girl Scouts is the best” opinion, I said I get to eat yummy snacks. Also, once when we had a girl scout's badge for dancing, the mom who was leading the meeting danced with us. It was super fun.

    Last of all, opinion writing is fun because I like to use the color-coded paper. Sometimes, when I write the opinion on paper, I am confused. That is when I use the color-coded paper to help me. I am not confused anytime I write my opinion on the color-coded paper.

    Did you like writing opinions?



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:-) Mrs. Yollis