Students celebrated the end of the second bend in our Opinion Writing Unit by collaboratively publishing anthologies. The children worked in small groups based on a common topic (for instance, movies, super heroes, or restaurants) and assembled their reviews to present to the class. Questions were asked such as, "Who might want to read your reviews?" "What is your review helping people do or understand?"
Working on the cover of their anthology had students sharing ideas, planning the cover and talking about the piece they want to include in their book. Anthologies are available for you to read if you are interested in reviews on movies, restaurants, games, toys, vacation spots and video games. The students are very willing to give their opinion on all of those topics!
Skills block is pepped up with powerful punctuation Popsicle sticks. Students are given six punctuation sticks with various marks and capitalization on them to choose from when a sentence is read or written on the board. They will hold up the stick that they think is the correct answer. This is a great way to check in an instant for punctuation and capitalization understanding.
Our new unit is Opinion writing and in particular, "Writing Reviews". Students were invited to bring in a favorite personal collection of theirs and judge how they would rate them: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. They spent time judging all they have collected, thinking, "This is the best because..." They are trying to convince others of their opinions.
A few days later, students visited tables with other children's collections and rated what they thought was the best and why. It was a time when they learned that writers don't always share the same opinion. When people disagree, this leads writers to back up their opinion with reasons.