When students enter the room, we begin the lesson with a quick review of the elements of an opinion using the rubric. We then watch the video of Philippe Petit's actual walk between the towers and discuss it. My students watched it three times!! You can watch that video here
After watching the video, I open the book to the page that shows Philippe with his hands outstretched waiting to be handcuffed. I ask the students, "Should Philippe have been arrested for walking between the towers?" I gather a few opinions and reasons for the opinions before giving them their assignment.
In opinion writing, I am careful to never give MY opinion or support because I have found that students will take on my opinion even if it's different from theirs. I want them to think and write about their own opinion.
I hand out the graphic organizer and the students go off to complete their opinion. This time I tell them that I'm going to look at spelling and mechanics along with the actual form and format of their written opinion.
Once students receive the graphic organizer, I give them time to complete their opinion writing. I will collect and grade this opinion and use it to see where the students are as far as this standard is concerned.
After the students complete and turn in their opinions, they will get a special treat- they will get to watch a video interpretation of the book, The Man Who Walked Between The Towers. I must make sure to tell them though that they will be responsible for writing another opinion for homework so they can take notes while we watch the video if they choose.
You can find the Scholastic video here. The video is on Discovery Learning (United Streaming) and requires a free account.
After the students have viewed the video- perhaps multiple times, I let them share with their shoulder partner about which media they liked better- the book or the movie. The pairs will also share the two reasons they have to support their opinion.
After both partners have had a chance to share, I give the students a chance to write their opinions on an exit ticket before they leave.