Opinion Writing Launch Lesson

Today was the kids first day back to school after winter break. (Teachers were back for work on Monday and Tuesday this week.) 

Our third quarter writing focus is opinion writing. I LOVE to teach this unit to my kiddos. It is so fun, and I get to know them even better as I read their opinions on so many different topics.

So... to launch our learning today I had a last minute brainstorm. I have always started our unit with an anchor chat with a piece of my own opinion writing, Last year I think I wrote about the best flavor ice cream... but this year I decided to write about something with a little more punch!

I pulled the kids to the floor and told them that I wanted them to read what I was writing silently, and that we would not talk about it until I was done. I could have written it ahead of time, but I wanted to build the suspense and really get their attention...

And boy- did I get their attention!

My first sentence was...

I think kids should go to school on Saturdays and Sundays.

Now, please know- that is DEFINITELY not what I really think. But to see the looks on their faces was priceless!

Next I wrote the three reasons that supported my thinking. I know that some people like to use the O.R.E.O. (opinion, reason, example, opinion) method to teach the opinion writing format, but personally I think it is sometimes hard for third graders to write a reason and give an example to go with that reason, so maybe instead of "example" I  think I might have them give a reason and then "elaborate" on that reason. 

As I was writing the reasons to support my opinion I would pause for effect and look at them, maybe make a comment or two, and can you believe some of them were scowling at me or giving me thumb's down! 

Then I restated my opinion to wrap the piece up. 

For the anchor chart- I used the same color marker (red) for the introductory opinion sentence and for the closing opinion sentence. I wrote the supporting reason sentences all in purple. 

After I finished writing the piece- I did not give them any time to talk about the topic- we only looked at the chart to see what we noticed- the first and last sentences were the same color- both opinions. Then I asked them what the other sentences were for and they told me it was "why" I thought that kids should go to school on Saturdays and Sundays. So we underlined each reason and labeled those. Notice- I still have not given them an opportunity to discuss the actual topic.

Here is the anchor chart we made...

I then sent them back to their seats and gave them an opinion writing organizer (I have a simple one for free, if you are interested in using it). 

I then asked their opinion about kids going to school on Saturdays and Sundays and told them to write their opinion statement in the first box on the organizer. 

Then I went around the room and let the kids share their opinions aloud. This is where I got quite a surprise! My class was split almost 50/50 on the subject. I was shocked!!!!

We proceeded to go one box at a time, and I tried to let each kid share at least one reason to support their opinion. 

Again- shocked- twice in one day!!! Their reasons were fantastic and well thought out. Here were a few of their responses:

Those for kids going to school on Saturdays and Sundays- 
*you will be smarter and have a better chance of getting into college
*you get a good, healthy meal when you are at school

Those against kids going to school on Saturdays and Sundays-
*you wouldn't be able to go to church on Sunday
*you might not be able to play sports, because a lot of games are on the weekends
*you wouldn't have as much time to spend with family and friends 

We then finished up our organizers with the restatement of our opinions. I did not publish these- since they were our first attempts with opinion writing, but I easily could have- they were very well done!

Only at the very end did I tell them that I really DO NOT think kids should go to school on Saturdays and Sundays- I had 2 different kids come up to me at recess and tell me they were so glad that wasn't what I really thought- one girl told me she was worried that I had gone bananas!!! 

I do have a few Opinion Writing resources available in my TpT Store if you are looking for 
additional practice prompts:


  1. Thank you so much for sharing, this is great.

  2. I like your opinion writing organizer! I am looking forward to sharing it with my students.


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