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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kindergarten Opinion Writing: If I Had Animal Teeth




I have been working hard with my Kinders on their writing skills. We have been focusing on writing in complete sentences, proper use of capitalization and punctuation, phonetic spelling and above all organizing and expanding our ideas. This is seriously HARD work for 5-6 year olds! 

I LOVE "Opinion Writing" because my students have LOTS of opinions that they are always ready to share. Seriously, once you start a topic - they can go on and on.  The hard part is explaining why they feel the way they do. That's what we've been working on. 

Our recent foray into Opinion Writing was inspired by the awesome book What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle. 




We read the book as part of our Dental Health Unit and it easily led to discussion about which animal's teeth we wished we could have. 

From Beavers

and bats,

to snakes,

sharks

and elephants tusks too. 

Didn't those turn out adorable? 
YES, they did!

After a bit of brainstorming together and sharing our initial ideas within small groups, my students started writing. Our first drafts are always in our completed in our writing journals. It's a great way to save all our work and see how the students' writing progresses throughout the year.

I gave my students a basic framework (see below) to use but they are always free to adapt it and write the story their own way as long as it meets our objective. 

If I Had _______ Teeth
I wish I had _____ teeth.
I think having ______ teeth would be _____  because _______ . 
I would ___________ with my teeth.
My teeth would be ____________ . 
It would be fun to have _________ teeth. 

Providing a framework like the one above helps my Kindergarteners organize their ideas. We are working on moving from writing sentences to telling a story with our sentences. It's been hard to get them to move away from writing things like "because I like it" or "because it's cool" to really explaining why they like it. It's all about the details. Boy, do I ever use that word a lot when we are writing. My students know I LOVE details. 

Here are a few examples of some of our completed opinion writings:





Have fun Opinion Writing!
Bern

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