Writing an Opinion - Drafting

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SWBAT write a first draft of an opinion piece by using a graphic organizer.

Big Idea

Students use their planning graphic organizers to write their opinion about the best movie


15 minutes

I started the lesson by asking students what we did in writing the day before in order to set the stage for today’s lesson. They stated we wrote why we liked our favorite movie on a graphic organizer (GO). I reminded them that that was the planning stage and asked what comes next. “The draft!” they yelled. I told them they were correct and I was going to model using my planning GO to write a draft of my opinion about my favorite movie.

I placed my GO on the document camera and reviewed it with students. I reread the topic and concluding sentences and my supporting three reasons. I began writing the draft with examples for my supporting reasons. I intentionally wrote short, choppy sentences and made spelling and other errors for future lessons on revising and editing. Students tried to correct my spelling, but I reminded them this is just the drafting phase where I get all my ideas on to paper. I would edit for errors later.

Independent Practice

20 minutes

After I completed modeling my draft, students took out their writer’s notebooks and began writing their drafts. I reminded them to use their planning graphic organizers and to add examples to support their reasons. I conferenced with students individually as they worked.


10 minutes

Students assessed their writing using a rubric. It was written in student-friendly language on a scale of 1-3. Students were on assessed on whether or not they had stated their opinion, wrote reasons to support their opinion, and provided a concluding statement. As a review, they also assessed on subject-verb agreement. This encouraged students to write using proper English.

This quick-check of their work gave students ownership of their writing. This encouraged them to assess themselves before handing their work off to a peer or the teacher for feedback. 


5 minutes

To close the lesson, students read their draft to a neighbor. This gave them the opportunity to hear their writing read aloud and think about revisions for the following day.