Our students definitely love to share their opinions! How do you put that voice into writing? There are so many ways to incorporate opinion writing prompts into your ELA curriculum in the elementary classroom. One of the best ways I have found is to start small! Use some of these simple ways to teach opinion writing in your ELA classroom. Here’s how you’ll get started!
Start with conversation
Verbal discussions about opinions can help your students formulate well-thought out writing pieces as well. Before they put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard), let them talk!
For example, whenever a student states an opinion, such as “Star Wars is the best movie of all time”, follow up with a question. “Why is Star Wars the best movie of all time?” This encourages your students to provide evidence through speaking. When they start to write persuasive paragraphs, they’ll be ready to back up their opinion with facts!
One of my favorite opinion writing prompts is “What was the best movie ever made?” You’ll have this and several other prompts to choose from with these digital prompts!
Make opinion writing relevant to your students
We’ve all seen writing prompts that use “big” current event issues or argue whether or not athletes should be paid. Those may be interesting for some of our students, but many want to talk about what is real in their own lives. Choose opinion writing prompts that will reach all students by allowing them to get excited about sharing their own opinion and voice.
For example, ask your students where they would choose if they could plan the next field trip. They could even choose virtual field trips. If a field trip is available virtually, you can use that as an incentive to have them write the most persuasive paragraph with facts to back it up!
Start with opinion paragraphs that are ready to use for digital and in-person learners!
Share and collaborate
After going through the writing process, have students read their writing in small or whole groups. This is a great way to facilitate debate and discussion. One of my favorite prompts is about birth order. Students write whether they are the oldest, middle, youngest, or only child and why their position is the best or the worst. This opinion writing prompt definitely gets students talking! The discussions that happen between eldest and youngest children can get heated but all in good fun!
Another way to scaffold and collaborate is by using the initial prompt in small groups or partners. This would work with a prompt like describing what should be served for school lunches. Your students can work together to come up with their own opinion for these opinion writing prompts.
Opinion writing is so much fun to teach in elementary school. Students love to share their stories and are passionate about their opinions. Teaching them how to incorporate facts and making the writing relevant and fun is necessary for elementary ELA students. Give students time to brainstorm, as well as, permission for planning pages to be messy even when teaching online!
Use these digital opinion writing prompt directly in Google Classroom, for independent practice, whole group instruction, or with stations.
If you’re also wondering on how to incorporate other types of writing such as narrative and informative, be sure to check out Narrative Writing Prompts and Informative Writing Activities for Elementary ELA!
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