Teaching Opinion Writing in First Grade


Teaching opinion writing can be a lot of fun in First Grade. First graders have LOTS of opinions, and they love to share them!

Here are a few ideas that have helped me to teach opinion writing to first graders.

Teach Students How to Write a Topic Sentence.

I have found that having an anchor chart with sentence starters for students to refer to is super helpful. I like to create the chart in front of the students. It might look something like this:

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Once the chart is completed, hang it in the room for students to be able to refer to throughout the year.  

Go Slowly and Progress in Small Steps

Don’t rush it! At the beginning of the year, I like for students to be able to write a topic sentence and two reason sentences. I do lots of modeled writing in front of the kids before I ask them to write on their own. If writing three sentences is too much for your students, then start with a topic sentence and one reason sentence. You can also teach students to write one opinion sentence with “because” as a linking word.
As the year progresses, we will add a third reason.  

By the middle to end of the year, we will be able to write a five-sentence paragraph with a topic sentence, three reasons, and a closing sentence.

Use the Discussion Web Strategy

Usually, the hardest part for first graders is thinking of good reasons for their opinions.  This is a simple strategy to use.  I like to gather students around me by the easel.  Start by having a question in the middle of your chart, and two columns on the sides.  It should be a question that can have strong opinions on both sides.  The chart above has More/Less as headings, but you could also have Yes/No, or other headings as needed. Then lead the class in a discussion of both viewpoints. List student responses on the chart.  Now, students are ready to complete an opinion writing piece on the question.

Have fun with opinion writing!  

There are so many great topics students can write about.  
These digital prompts are perfect for displaying on your interactive whiteboard.
You can also print them in black and white to use them as worksheets.
I have created a free chart to get your started. You can download it here.
Looking for more great writing ideas? Check out my Writing Interactive Notebook for First Grade.

Hi, I’m Jaymie! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I taught for 17 years including 12 years in First Grade, 4 years as a Reading Interventionist, and 1 year in Pre-K. 

I have a passion for creating rigorous, easy to use primary resources that require little or no prep! I hope you find some easy ideas to take back to your classroom or use in your homeschool!

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