Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Bring students to a common starting point
The use of a microphone (toy mic or muted) will emphasize the use of 'voice'. Demonstrate and then start letting them have a chance to give their opinions! As students consider the ideas of formal and informal English, they are developing a knowledge of language and it's conventions when writing and speaking. They are apply the knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts and make effective choices for meaning and audience.
Discuss the concepts
Explain the task
Explain the task
A few students wanted to pick their own topic, but then they had lots of difficulty forming a clear opinion and supporting it with reasons. I would recommend saving that free choice for another lesson once the students are more secure with the skill of opinion writing.
Many of the letters may sound almost the same. You're asking them to practice several skills at the same time (using voice, letter writing, stating opinions). Letter writing is something that second graders are still new at, and stating opinions with reasons is probably very novel for them. Some students have more eloquent writing and can use better examples of the forms of English, but its also good to note that others may be able to write clearer sentences with their reasons.
Monitor students working
As students write opinion pieces that state the opinion, supply reasons and restate the opinion, (W.2.1), they are writing arguments to support claims with valid reasoning and sufficient evidence. The Common Core State Standards represent a shift in reading and writing that is grounded in evidence and requires students to focus on evidence-based writing to persuade.