Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier. There are a few instances when you might want to summarize an article. To show how an author's ideas support your argument To argue against the author's ideas To condense a lot of information into a small space To increase your understanding of an article What Needs to Be Included in a Summary of an Article?
Many Scholastic news articles are perfect to use because they are short, and for the most part have a structure that is similar to how I want my students to write. The articles often include: Mint should stop making pennies.
Once students read the article about pennies, they were ready to form an opinion. After discussing the pros and cons with partners, the class took sides.
With students divided into two groups, they took part in a spirited Visible Thinking debate called Tug of War. After hearing many of their classmates voice their reasoning for keeping or retiring the penny, the students were ready to get started putting their thoughts on paper. Using the name of a popular cookie is a mnemonic device that helps my students remember the structural order their paragraphs need to take: Opinion, Reason, Example, Opinion.
Because this was our first foray into example writing, we worked through the organizer together. My students did pretty well with the initial organizer and we used it again to plan out opinion pieces on whether sledding should be banned in city parks.
The organizers made putting their thoughts into a clear paragraph with supporting reasons and examples very easy for most students. With each practice we did, my students got stronger and I introduced different organizers to help them and to keep interest high.
Giving each student one sandwich cookie to munch on while they worked on these organizers helped keep them excited about the whole process. After we worked our way through several of the Scholastic News opinion pieces, my third graders also thought of issues pertinent to their own lives and school experiences they wanted to write about, including: Should birthday treats and bagel sales be banned at school?
Should all peanut products be banned? Should we be allowed to download our own apps on the iPads the school gave us?
As we continued to practice, different organizers were introduced. Those are shown below. Simply click on each image to download and print your own copy. The organizer below is my favorite to use once the students are more familiar with the structure of opinion paragraphs.
It establishes the structure, but also helps students remember to use opinion-based sentence starters along with transition words. Below is a simple organizer some of my students can also choose to use.
Other Resources I Have Used Scholastic offers many different resources for helping your students become better with their opinion writing, or for younger writers, understanding the difference between fact and opinion. A great one to have in your classroom is: Click on the images below to download and print.
There are many more sheets like these in Scholastic Teachables. A couple weeks into our persuasive writing unit and I have already seen a lot of progress from our very first efforts. I hope you find a few of these tips and my graphic organizers helpful!In this letter, I will provide you with my legal opinion and analysis so you can make a qualified decision regarding the charges you face.
I will first restate the facts, as I know them, to confirm their accuracy. There is a difference between learning how to write a case study and learning how to write a case study that is initiativeblog.com initiativeblog.com sings from the rooftops, “Just look at these results — you know you want to work with us!”.
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1. How to write an opinion piece (a) The first paragraph The first paragraph of an opinion piece should catch the reader’s eye. You must signal that your topic is an interesting one, and you have something novel to say about it. Your model should be the opening paragraph of a good short story, not the beginning of an academic essay.
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