Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Opinion Writing

It's Workshop Wednesday, which means it's time to link up with my BBB Jivey from Ideas By Jivey to talk about Opinion Writing!

I wrote about The Spider and the Fly, one of my favorite mentor texts, to use around this season a couple of weeks ago here.

We don't really work on opinion writing until the last semester of school, but I love doing this activity with my students! It offers them a chance to be creative and it's the perfect opportunity to teach perspective! After reading this beautifully illustrated book, I showed my students several websites with spider facts and information. I let them brainstorm things they wanted to know about spiders (how they help, how many species, how many are poisonous, etc.). We found some valuable information to support their writing assignment, which they got after all this discussion and research:
They had to take on the role of the spider and tell his/her side of the story.
These are ROUGH DRAFTS, a quick write, but for the amount of time they had to write...I'm pretty impressed and excited!
Here are some samples and I've included a couple of my favorite lines in case you can't see the pics:

"I may not be flawless, I may not be beautiful, and I may not be attractive, but I'm extraordinary in my own ways. I'm hurt, I'm mad, and I've almost been killed. Twice."
**What about the effective use of that sentence fragment!!!!!

" I can't eat for one second without my leg getting sprayed by bug spray? Ugh!!!...I'm doing my part why can't you?"
 "You know Spiderman? He is a hero (just like me). I am not a perfect insect."
*I know spiders aren't insects, but remember our focus was opinion writing. I will clear up this students' misconception.
"I know it is unusual for spiders to speak, but it is a fact we can speak...Trust me. I spin a web and catch flies for you!"
**I like how he labeled the clipart at the top "portrait of me". :O)
Here is my bulletin board to show off our writing!
This is a great lesson to teach a different point of view...I think several of my students changed their opinions about spiders!


  1. Ahhh! I am in love with this! We just wrote opinion pieces on spiders! (I am posting about it tomorrow!) I think I am going to take it a step further and do this activity next week! I absolutely love your bulletin board! :)

    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. Absolutely love this idea - this is what got me thinking of what I could do for opinion writing this week. I love how your students really got into the perspective of the spider - they made great word choices. Thanks for the continued inspiration - love the bulletin board!!

  3. I fell in love with this book when you last wrote about it! And now after seeing your students work, I'm going to buy it right now! (And I'm not even teaching writing this!) I was also wondering why their papers on your bulletin board were wrinkled...then I realized it was spider webs!!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  4. I love this! It would fit right in with Halloween too. Your bulletin board is super!! Great ideas, as always friend. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. Love love love that Bulletin board! Now that I know we're not giving the state writing test this year, I'm looking for fun writing ideas to do with the kids this year. This looks like a fun way to teach perspective. Must. find. this. book.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  6. This book really does sound fantastic! I need to get it!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  7. This is awesome! I'm starting an opinion writing next week and this would be so much fun!

    Third Grade Galore

  8. Okay, I've seen both of your posts on this book, so I had to find it today. We had a copy in my library, and I LOVE the story! It's a really beat-up copy, but it will work for now. Thanks for sharing so many great uses for the book!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
    Follow me on Bloglovin!

  9. I have ordered this book on Book Depository - I couldn't stand it any longer that I don't have it! Please let it arrive soon!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  10. Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog.
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