Summary and Context:
Today, the students will be tackling the Common Core State Standard W.2.1. They will write an opinion about the book, Odd Velvet, by Mary. E. Whitcomb. To support their opinion, they will need to provide evidence from the story. In their writing, they will need to use the linking words: because, and, also. These words allow them to connect their opinion with reasons. They will also need to give a concluding statement.
To prepare them for this writing task, I review the difference between facts and opinions on the carpet. We have a discussion about it.
I use an apple to write facts. I use an apple because it can be found in the storyline and because I want to use something tangible that they know.
I ask to tell me about the ways in which we state opinions. I make a chart that includes some of these linguistic patterns:
I emphasize the word, "because." I explain to the students, that it is the marker that signals the reason(s).
One of the challenges for ELLs is that as they are learning content in English, they are also learning the forms and function of the language, and that is why I supply them with linguistic patterns. This is one way I bridge this gap.
Then, I have them express an opinion about the apple. This practice for formulating an opinion about the story, Odd Velvet.
(Special note: The lesson for today is 40 minutes in length because that is all the time I had for language arts. This is the week before Winter Break and there are many Holiday activities going on.)
My students sit at their desks ready to express their opinion of the book and ready to write it down. Before they speak, I give them think time with the question: "What do you think about the book, Odd Velvet?"
Again, I structure the discussion in this manner to give my students opportunity to make connections between the listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Here are some other work samples:
Next, we will go back to the text to find evidence for our opinions ...
I reread the story on the rug. Beforehand, I set the purpose of the rereading: to gather evidence about their opinion. The students have their response journals ready and will jot down notes that they feel will support their opinions.
After reading each page, I throw out the question: What evidence can be found on this page that supports your opinion?
I give them think time and wait time as they write down the evidence. I let them know they can use words, phrases or complete sentences for their writing.
I ask them to give me thumbs up when I can proceed to the next page.
I proceed with this process until I finish reading the whole story.
Here is their opinion and some of the evidence they gathered to support that opinion: