I wanted to share a simple and effective opinion writing activity I did with my 2nd graders last week. I was not really interested in writing prompts such as “What is your opinion on…cats?” BORING! That is not my style AT ALL! So instead, we did the following:
Play the movie “UP” from 11:19 – 20:16. This is a short nine minute section where Mr. Fredrickson is living alone after his wife dies. The neighborhood around his house has been turned into massive development. He loses his cool when a construction truck knocks over his mailbox and he hits someone with his cane. Right away, “Shady Oaks Retirement Village” is the suggestion for where Mr. Fredrickson should go.
Ask your students if they think Mr. Fredrickson should move to Shady Oaks retirement village where he can have someone take care of him, make friends his age, and not be a danger to others, OR if he should continue to live his life on his own. A big part of opinion writing is providing reasons so I gave the students the following worksheet to record their three main reasons for their opinion:
Let the kids discuss and debate. I was amazed by some of the philosophical insights from some of my students! One actually said “it is better to be dead than bored” and another responded, “it is better to be bored than dead”. I now know which one is more likely to send me away in thirty years 🙂
To practice letter writing skills, the students wrote a letter to Shady Oaks saying if they should go pick up Mr. Fredrickson or if they should leave him alone
This was a fun activity that really helped the students identify their strongest REASONS for an opinion. As readers of my blog, you can download this opinion writing freebie here. Enjoy!