I chose the topic of indoor/outdoor recess because my kids have strong opinions about this. They really differ on their preferences - some really prefer to stay in when the weather is bad and others want to go outside, regardless of the temperature.
In Part 1 of this lesson, Inside or Out: Writing an Opinion Essay (lesson 1 of 3), students used an organizer to write an opinion, sharing 3 reasons and supporting examples. This is part 2 of the 3 part lesson about writing opinion essays where students write the draft. In part 3, Inside or Out: Edit and Finalize the Draft, students will edit and complete the final draft of the five-paragraph essay.
Second graders need time to work through these writing steps of the writing process (brainstorm, organize, rough draft, edit, final draft). The district expectation for my students is to create a five-paragraph essay, aligning with the Common Core Standards of composing a variety of types of essays, including opinion essays that state an opinion with supporting examples and details. (W.2.1).
In this lesson, students will create a rough draft with an introduction, linking words to connect ideas, and conclusion. Guiding students through each step and giving them practice will ultimately help them become independent writers.
To give you more background about how to help students write a five paragraph essay, I encourage you to look at some narrative writing lessons that I taught previously in my course: Organize Your Ideas In A Timely Way (Lesson 1 of 3), Draft and Edit a Star Narrative (Lesson 2 of 3), and Finalize and Show What You Know (Lesson 3 of 3). I taught that unit to teach students about writing narrative essays. I used the same ideas of 'main idea' with 'supporting details', writing 2 drafts and editing that the Common Core Standards emphasize to provide evidence for statements that the students make in writing and create strong writing pieces.
Underlined words should emphasized and put on my Reading & Writing word wall for later reference. I pull off words for each lesson, helping students understand the 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.
Common starting point
My goal in this short introduction is to refocus the students' attention on the task and bring all to the same place that we left yesterday. They'll all start with their completed organizers and a blank rough draft paper to start writing sentences.
Give the purpose and background of the lesson
Demonstrate and have students check their organizers before writing
Work with students
Scaffolding and Special Education
This lesson can be used with students who demonstrate more or less academic ability. Those with greater ability should be challenged to write longer sentences, using more adjectives and description. Those who struggle with writing may need more support. My students were able to write a paragraph, they just needed small group help as they rest of the class wrote independently.