|Discussion ideas and questions for teaching opinion writing.|
Read a letter to the editor or an opinion article.
Ask students the following: What is the topic? How do you know? What is the author’s opinion? What reasons does the author give for his/her opinion? What words does the author use to convince you about his/her opinion? Is there a call to action? What is it? Does the author influence you with this article? How? How could it be better?
Brainstorm all the things we have opinions on. (favorite colors, movies, events, holidays, foods, issues, subjects….)
Brainstorm why we need to justify our opinions.
Practice justifying your opinions with a class discussion about which guest speaker should come:
A Famous Athlete/Movie Star or the President
Take opinions from students and ask them to justify their opinions.
Do a brainstorm on the opinions of local fast food places.
Brainstorm your ‘pet peeves’. Pet peeves are really opinions about things. For instance, if my pet peeve is people
chewing their gum with their mouths open then it is likely my opinion that it is rude to chew gum with your mouth open. Why do I feel that way?
Brainstorm a list of rules. For each rule, ask students about their opinions of the rules and the reasons for
Brainstorm all the ways you can change people’s opinions.
Think of a time you changed your opinion. What made you change your opinion?
Discuss the most important times that it is important to voice our opinions.
It is important for students to hear both sides/various opinions to ensure they begin to
Take some of the prompts and have students brainstorm the pros and cons of both sides.
Discuss the difference between opinions and facts. Brainstorm a list of both on a topic.
Discuss the term ‘People are Entitled to Their Own Opinions’
Discuss the differences between an argument and an opinion.
Discuss the importance of respecting others despite having differing opinions.