Grade 3: Writing Opinion Essays in Response to “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”


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W.3.1 (a) Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

W.3.1 (b) Provide reasons that support the opinion.

W.3.1 (c) Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.

W.3.1(d) Provide a concluding statement or section


L3.3 (a) Choose words and phrases for effect.


This Grade 3 lesson set titled “Writing Opinion Essays in Response to The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Jennifer Reynolds for LearnZillion is intended to be completed in 7 sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. The focus of instruction is to have students practice the steps of the writing process. Throughout instruction, students learn how to: use a graphic organizer, introduce a text in an opinion essay, develop reasons to support an opinion using text evidence, and write a concluding statement to support an opinion. As a culminating activity, students draft an essay, use linking words and phrases to connect ideas, and revise the essay before publishing it.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that in order to have students work toward mastery of the targeted standards by the end of third grade, this lesson set should be taught at the start of the school year. Teacher modeling, using the same text as the students, provides a good step-by-step introduction to writing an opinion essay on a text, but students will need to begin to practice these skills independently, using different texts than the teacher uses to model as the school year progresses. An aligned rubric to assess whether individual students are mastering the standards-based content and skills is not included and will need to be developed.


This lesson set is a good example of how to sequence, scaffold, and support learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Lessons routinely expect that students draw evidence from the text to produce a clear and coherent opinion essay. Lessons use technology and media to deepen learning and draw attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Instructional expectations are addressed, and the plan is easy to understand and use. The lesson set is designed to be used in multiple ways in school and/or at home to provide appropriate supports for all students—those at grade level, as well as those who are ELL, have disabilities, or who read well below the grade level text band.

A set of video lessons aligned to this text titled “Close Reading Literature – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” has also been reviewed on this website and can be reached if you CLICK HERE.  It is suggested that this reading sequence of lessons taught prior to the lesson set described above.