I started the lesson by telling students they were going to write their opinion of the best movie ever! They were very excited about this and immediately started talking about their favorite movie and why. There were even small debates amongst students about which movie was the best, which provided the perfect opportunity to direct them to the chart I had posted the day before listing the definitions and examples of fact and opinion. I reminded them that the best movie was a matter of opinion and not everyone felt the same way.
I asked students to tell me the first step in the writing process as a reminder that there IS a process when writing and planning is first. I gave each student a two-sided sheet with a graphic organizer we would use to plan. The first side was for them to follow along as I modeled. The other side was for their independent work.
I explained each part of the graphic organizer. I reminded students we would need a topic sentence and a concluding statement. I also explained that when stating an opinion you need reasons, which was why there were three sections to list them. I modeled stating my favorite movie and writing the topic sentence, thinking of three reasons and writing them, and writing a concluding statement.
I told students it was now time to begin planning their writing by completing their graphic organizer about their favorite movie. They asked if they could work in partners. I asked if that would work. They readily said no since not everyone thought the same movie was the best. This is exactly what I wanted students to realize about opinions. They were based on personal preference and not everyone agrees. I walked around the room as students worked, providing assistance as needed.
I assessed student work via a checklist. I checked for a topic sentence, a list of reasons, and a concluding statement. The graphic organizer served as a self-assessment of sorts for students. If any section was incomplete, it was a visual reminder that something important was missing. All writing was to have an introduction and conclusion, and opinion pieced needed to be supported by reasons.
I closed the lesson by having students pair with a neighbor to tell them their favorite movie and read the reasons why. This gave students the opportunity to orally share their opinion, which is particularly important for my English language learners. They were able to tell someone else their thoughts in an academic setting, which required the use of Standard English.