Creating an organizational structure for opinion writing

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SWBAT logically group ideas together and begin to draft opinion pieces.

Big Idea

How do I organize opinion writing and write in an engaging way?

Cue Set

5 minutes

During the Cue Set, scholars turn and tell their friend one reason they might support the British or the Patriots.  Here are scholars turning and talking.  

The idea here is that scholars are reviewing the work they accomplished yesterday (research) and they are gearing up for the lesson today (organizing & drafting).   Keep this section short so that scholars have plenty of time to work on their opinion pieces.  

Teaching Strategy

15 minutes

During the Teaching Strategy, I model looking back at the Anchor Chart that we developed yesterday about strong opinion pieces.  I think out loud, "Let's see, I picked my opinion, I found facts and details that support my opinion, now it is time to organize my thinking and begin my draft."  I ask myself, "Are my ideas related to one another?  Could I create logical groups of ideas?"  I model how to group the facts & details with the relevant points by creating an outline.  

Next, I model how to create my opening paragraph of my draft.  I remind scholars that a strong opening includes the following: 

1. Interesting/engaging hook 

2. Clearly states my opinion 

3. States my main arguments (without facts -- development will happen in the BODY, not in the opening paragraph) 

4. Transitions into the body of the essay  

As I model, I expect scholars eyes to be on me.  I make it more engaging by pausing and asking scholars to fill-in-the-blank with words that make sense.  


Guided Practice

25 minutes

During the Guided Practice, scholars take their Note Template from research yesterday and group their facts and details based on the point that they are trying to make.  

During the Guided Practice, I pair lower scholars with medium low scholars and high scholars with medium high scholars.  The reason for this is to ensure that no one becomes frustrated with their partner, and also so that my ELL co-teacher and I can strategically support certain groups.  

Scholars love guided practice time because it helps them to help one another.  Also, they get to move around the room and find a comfy place to read.  This increases oxygen to their brains and it gives them a change of scenery.  


Independent Practice

45 minutes

During this time scholars finish grouping their ideas and they write their opening paragraph.  Our ELL co-teacher pulls a small group to give them accommodations and help them with their opening.  I conference individually with scholars to ensure that they are on the right track and to push their thinking.  When the 45 minutes are over, all scholars should have finished grouping their ideas and their opening.  If scholars finish early, they may begin their rough drafts.   Here is a video showing scholars working hard!