Opinion Writing

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SWBAT assume a character role and write and revise an opinion piece related to the two essential questions in the class role play.

Big Idea

Revisit nonfiction writing using Boxes and Bullets!


15 minutes

Gather students on the rug for a quick review of what was accomplished yesterday.  Show a group's Opinion and reasons graphic organizer.

Say, "Yesterday you worked with your group and most of you completed this graphic organizer about your opinions and reasons related to slavery and who should have the right to vote.  (Groups not finished with this work will stay here on the rug after the mii-lesson and you will finish before going on to today's activity.)

Today you are going to sit with your group at the same tables as yesterday, but you each will be responsible for writing your own position statement about the two essential questions we are focusing on in our role play:

1. Should slavery be abolished and should runaway slave be returned to their owners?

2.  Who should have the right to vote in our new nation? What role should gender, race and property ownership play in this decision?


The work you did yesterday will really help you with today's task.

Take a look at this writing plan in the form of boxes and bullets.  It will help you write your position statement.  On the front side you will be writing your position on the question of slavery as held by your character.  For instance, if you are a plantation owner you will probably hold a different position than if you are a Free African American.

After you state your position, you will give three reasons for why you believe the way you do. Notice the bullets starting with the transition words:  First, Also, and Finally.

On the back of the sheet, you will write your position from your character's viewpoint on the question of who should have the right to vote.  Then you will support your position with three reasons.

Have the paper distributers put a boxes and bullet form on each desk.


Are their any questions?

Release students back to their seats to begin writing.

Mid workshop interruption

10 minutes

After the students have worked in their table groups for 15-20 minutes, interrupt them with a mid workshop interruption.

Say, "Students may I have your attention for a moment?  Look up here on the screen, I want to show you an example position draft.

Show page one of the example.  I created a character from the group Free African Americans.  

Listen as I read what I wrote.  "My name is Reality and I am a wife and a mother."  See how I filled in the top of my page?  My main idea sentence says, "I think slavery should be abolished and I think if a former slave is living in the north they should not be returned to their owner.

Then, I list my reasons.  I wrote, "First, there should not be slavery because everyone should be treated the same under the laws of this new nation according to the Bill of Rights.

Also, I am not in favor of returning former slaves to the south because this leads to free African Americans being captured and sold!

Finally, Slavery is wrong.  WE are attempting to create a new country based on freedom, liberty, and equality.  This means for ALL people!

"Now, We have time for some of you to share your position drafts.  Who would like to share?"  Call on a few students to share their writing with the class.

If you are not finished with your position draft, please put it in your homework folder and complete it tonight.  If you are finished, give it to the materials manager so they can put it in your work folder for tomorrow."