Monday, March 28, 2016

Using Book Reviews to Prepare for Opinion Writing

My class has one last writing unit for the school year, which is opinion writing. In order to introduce them to this concept, we started with book reviews using my quick book review bookmarks (which are a free download at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.)

Using book review bookmarks to prepare students for opinion writing provides a quick practice that links to true opinion writing - includes a free download from Raki's Rad Resources

As a class, we read four books as read alouds - I Wanna Iguana, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day and A Bad Case of the Stripes. For each book, each student completed their own book review bookmarks. They rated each book from 1 - 5 stars and wrote a few sentences about why the liked or disliked the book. This gave us lots of time to talk about fact vs. opinion and to discuss reasons why we might like or not like a book, slowly processing out the "This book was cool. You should read it." and the story retells. By the end of the week, we were getting more and more solid, descriptive opinions, some even backed up by facts! We put the bookmarks together onto posters to hang in the hallway and the other classes have enjoyed reading our thoughts on these books.

Using book review bookmarks to prepare students for opinion writing provides a quick practice that links to true opinion writing - includes a free download from Raki's Rad Resources

Then last week, we took the book review process a step further using our Primary Writing Journal for Opinion Writing. The students each chose their own book and started brainstorming and drafting on the topic "The best book in the world is..." We didn't get too far into the process, but it's a good start and I am starting to see quite an improvement in the students' writing.

After Spring Break (which is this week - woohoo!) we will have eight more weeks to conquer this important topic in writing. We will work slowly through our opinion writing journals and publish prize pieces just before the end of the school year. 

What's your final focus of the school year going to be?