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COMMON CORE STANDARDS
W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
W.4.1 (b) Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
W.4.1 (d) Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
DESCRIPTION OF LESSON
This Grade 4 lesson set “Opinion Writing” by Beth Blacklow, Jessica Wright, and Mary Jane Custy for LearnZillion is intended to be completed in 4 sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. The lessons’ activities focus on furthering an understanding of writing opinion pieces. Students revise for correct use of facts and opinions, write opinions that can be supported with facts, make sure they have two or more clear reasons to support their opinion, and add a conclusion to opinion writing. Each video prompts students to pause periodically and interact with the items on the Student Practice Sheet. Formative assessments are included at the ends of lessons so that students practice the isolated skill in a prompt and on a piece of their own writing.
Connecticut teachers should be aware that the website, as well as the teacher notes and preparation materials, will require familiarity to be used effectively. The use of a Common Core-aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which students can independently demonstrate the targeted standards is suggested. Click here for a sample rubric for an Opinion Performance Task Writing Rubric (Grades 3-5) from Smarter Balanced.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The lesson set is a good example of how to sequence, scaffold, and support learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Each lesson addresses targeted CCSS instructional expectations and is easy to understand and implement. The lessons are designed to be used in multiple ways in school and/or at home to provide appropriate supports for all students. The use of technology and media allows flexibility for teachers as they plan and deliver their instruction. All materials are included for downloading.