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Design for Learning

Instructor: Aaron Conner Lesson Title: In my Opinion Curriculum Area: Writing Grade Level: 4th Date: December 3, 2013 Estimated Time: 45-60 minutes

Standards Connection: AL 4th English Language Arts (22) Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

Learning Objective(s): When given a writing prompt, students will write a point of view on a scenario with three reasons. Learning Objective(s) stated in kid-friendly language: Class, today we are going to write an opinion about the story and explain why we wrote it. Evaluation of Learning Objective(s): Students will listen to the story The Christmas Wish and will write about a portion of the story in their writing journals and explain why they believe that it should remain or be different. The students should have three supporting reasons why they have their opinion. Engagement: The teacher will greet the class and open with a video that will introduce the book that will soon be read. Good morning class! I hope you are all ready for a fun lesson today on writing. First I am going to show you a video that will introduce the book we are going to use to help us learn about writing opinion pieces and backing our opinions up with reasons and information. Now I need table 1 to quietly and quickly move to the carpet. Great now I need table 2 and 3 to do the same. Excellent, now we are ready to begin the video. The teacher will then read The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert to the class. Alright now who is ready to actually read the story? Good, so am I! This is one of my alltime favorite Christmas books. Now lets all be quiet and attentive listeners so that we all can understand and enjoy the book. Here we go (The story is about a Norwegian girl who longs to be one of Santas Elves. She goes on a journey from her village to the North Pole and meets many animal friends along the way who help her on her journey. Finally she arrives and meets Santa who deems her worthy of being an Elf. She gets to help him on Christmas and is dropped back off at home on Christmas morning.) Learning Design: I. Teaching: The teacher will define opinions and discuss how they are used all the time on a daily basis. Alright class who can tell me what an opinion is? Yes an opinion is a statement that tells other what you think about a situation. Can anyone tell me the opposite of an opinion? Yes the opposite of an opinion is a fact. Now what is the difference between fact and opinion, does anyone know? Ok so fact is undisputed and remains the same from person to person. An example of a fact would be that the ocean is full of salt water. Another fact is that snow is frozen water particles that fell from the sky as precipitation. Can you give me an example of a fact? Yes, great example John! Did you all hear him? He said that 5 plus 7 equal 12. That is a proven fact that remains the same to him, me, and all of you. Now let us talk about opinions. Why are they different than facts? Ah yes, you are correct. Opinions differ from person to person but can be the same for a few or even many people. How many of you think pizza is tasty. Ok how many do not think pizza is

tasty. See 13 of you like pizza but 2 of you do not. So that is your opinion even though it remains the same for most of you. Lets look at another example. I like it when it is cold outside. Now does everyone in here like when the weather is cold? How many of your prefer the summer to the winter? See that is an opinion because everyone else may not agree with you. The teacher will then demonstrate the need for facts, supporting details, and reasons behind opinions. He will call to the class for examples and will show them non examples as well. Now having an opinion is great but as fourth graders you will start to see your opinions challenged by other opinions or by other people. So how can you make sure that your opinion is a good and solid opinion that will stand against others? Well just as a building needs support to stand and we need legs to stand, opinions also need support in order to stand. If I said winter is the best would you all agree? No of course not but I have said it like it is fact. How can I support my opinion so that others understand why I have that opinion? Yes, I can start to list the reasons why I feel that way. I think winter is the best because I love the snow, hot chocolate, snow skiing, and spending time with family and winter is the best time to do all of those things. You see? Now no one can tell me that winter is not the best because I have supported why I like winter with many reasons. Others may still disagree with your opinion but the point is not to beat others in having the correct opinion. Instead it is all about having an opinion that will stand when it is tested. It is not a strong support or reason to say that you have an opinion just because or because that is just what you think. Little kids think like that and you are going to be in middle school next year! It is kind of ironic that facts are used to support opinions. It is a fact that the best time to ski and enjoy the snow is in the winter and so facts help make a very strong support system for your opinion. II. Opportunity for Practice: The teacher will transition into peer work and will split the class into table groups. He will then distribute the whiteboards and markers to each student and give the directions. Okay class now that we have learned about opinions and why we must support them, we are going to split into our table groups and work together. I want tables 1 and 2 to get their whiteboards and come back to the carpet and table 3 to get one marker per person. Great, now switch and get the item that you do not have. Perfect. I want each group to number off from one to five. Great now each of you will say something that you like and why. For example, I like winter because Christmas and snow are both present during winter. Now once the number one person has said their statement, I want the other four to write on their boards that they agree or disagree and then write one reason why they dont agree or why they do agree. We will do this for each partner so when everyone has said why they agree or disagree you will move on to the number two person and so on. Alright lets get started! As the students are working, the teacher will walk around and observe the work that each group is doing. He will offer support, ideas, and encouragement as needed but will assume the role of facilitator and allow the students to come up with their own stories. III. Assessment: Alright class now lets go back to our desks and take out our writing journals. We have seen how we can back up opinions with different reasons and with information. Now I am going to give you all an opportunity to show me that you understand and can do the same all on your own. I want you all to take any part of the story; beginning, middle, or end, and I want you to write about whether or not you thought it was a good part and why. I want you all to give me three reasons why it was good or three reasons why it was bad. I will leave the book up here on the desk if you would like to come up and look at it to remind yourself of any small details that may help you.

IV. Closure: The teacher will give the students an opportunity to read their stories to the class. After five students have shared the teacher will collect the rest of the stories and discuss how the day went. I very much enjoyed all of your opinions that you wrote down. I believe you are all going to be gifted writers if you continue to produce work like this. Now that you understand why it is so important to support your opinion with facts and reasons, you will be able to stand strong when other ideas or opinions from other people challenge the way that you think. Writing is such a great way to record your feeling and you have to be able to defend your ideas should they ever come into question. I believe that you are all more equipped now to look for and produce those reasons behind your beliefs and will have much stringer opinions now. Remember that this is not just a skill to through away and forget as you will use this skill for middle school, high school, and even college and the real world! Keep practicing your writing skills and you will be amazed at some of the works you will produce. Materials and Resources: Writing Journal Pen/Pencil The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert Christmas Wish Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOihc8N5ng4#t=32 Laptop with Internet Access Whiteboards Markers

Differentiation Strategies (including plans for individual learners): H- For students who are not challenged by this, introduce the idea of story creation. Instead of having them rewrite a portion of the story, begin working on the different parts of a story and have them work on their very own. L- For students who are having a difficult time rewriting a portion of the story, simply have them recall a portion of the story and reflect on what they read and how it made them feel. Data Analysis: The students loved the artwork and the story of The Christmas Wish. All of the students were able to write an opinion and support it very well with many facts and reasons and a few were even ready to be challenged further. Reflection: I loved teaching this lesson. The Christmas Wish is one of my favorite books and it was a joy to see the students share in that. They all were so excited to listen to the book, write cooperatively, and showcase their own ideas in their journals. This was a very fun and engaging lesson that put us all in the Christmas spirit!

Samford University Design for Learning