Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Inside or Out? Organize Ideas For An Opinion Essay (Lesson 1 of 3) - Section 4: Brainstorm as a group


This group work is not just fact gathering and prep for the writing. This is the crux of this portion of the lesson. I want students to discuss and share ideas about their opinions. The goal here is to use the models that students share (indoor recess is more calm) and then push them to link clear examples to the reason (It's calm because no one is screaming). This will take monitoring by the teacher to keep kids on track and help them understand that forming an opinion is not just stating what they think, but taking the time to explain reasons and add clear examples to support their opinion. As they work, walk around and ask them about their ideas. "Who can tell me how that example supports that reason?" or "Do those reasons convince me that indoor recess is best?". 

Asking students to write opinions and support for their statements is the epitome of what the Common Core Standards are asking for. Students need to be able to explain their reasoning with evidence in written form and clearly state their opinion. (W.2.1) This does not come easily or naturally to 2nd graders, but with practice, they can begin to understand how to express themselves clearly, succinctly and purposefully through writing.

My students still needed some follow-up as they worked. I stopped them while they were brainstorming to remind them that the support in their reasons and examples had to make sense. Here's how I reinforced to them that the examples had to match the reasons.

  Grappling with Complexity: Do the examples support the reasons?
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Inside or Out? Organize Ideas For An Opinion Essay (Lesson 1 of 3)

Unit 11: Writing Opinion Essays
Lesson 2 of 4

Objective: SWBAT brainstorm ideas to create an opinion essay by stating an opinion and supplying reasons and examples.

Big Idea: Inside or Outside recess - Let's hear your opinion and how you support it!

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English / Language Arts, Special Education, Writing, 2nd Grade, opinion, essay
  45 minutes
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