Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Nearpod
Upper Elementary
  • 4th Grade
  • Lesson Plan
  • Opinion
  • Writing
  • uol3-5
  • uolela
  • uollesson
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Opinion Writing

    Opinion Writing


    Lesson Description: Students will learn about facts/opinions and claims/reasoning. Students will complete two nearpods and a prewriting assignment. Students will read a sample essay and will collaborate to think critically about facts and opinions. Students will also complete a 5-7 sentence opinion writing piece on a topic of their choice.

    Thumbnail citation: "A-kid-drawing-or-writing" by dotmatchbox at flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


    In this lesson, students will learn about facts and opinions, claims with support, and audience and opinion. Using what they learn, students will write an opinion essay, including a prewriting assignment and Nearpod Lessons.

    Time Frame: 3 blocks, 30-45 minutes each

    Format: Face-to-face synchronous, 4 C's Lesson adaptation options

    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of the basics of opinion essay writing. You will need to know the definitions of facts, opinions, claims, and audience.


    Fact: a truth, a reality, or real or true thing or idea; provable

    Opinion: A view, a belief, or judgement of something; not provable.

    Claim: An opinion or position on an issue; uses logical reasoning and facts to support it to show that it is an opinion worth having.

    Audience: The person or people who the opinion essay is directed towards.

    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to write an opinion essay with claims based on logical reasoning.

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will take an opinion on topic of their choice and include 3-4 claims.
    • Students' essays will be directed towards an appropriate audience.

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of the structure of an essay (5+ sentences, introduction, 3 reasons, conclusion)

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    • Students may need sentence starters (My opinion is..... because...., etc.)
    • Topic suggestions if students struggle to decide on a topic on their own:
      • What animal would judge us the most?
      • Should books ever be banned?
      • Should students be able to grade their teachers?
      • Should video games be considered a sport?
      • Can money buy you happiness?
      • Should homework be required?
      • Should cell phones be allowed in schools?
      • If you could choose anywhere in the world to go on vacation, where would you choose and why?
      • What is the nicest thing a friend could do for you?
      • Do you think kids should be allowed more recess time?
    • Students who have language needs can use speech-to-text features and a language translator.


    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction

    Part 1

    Make two statements, one an obvious fact and the other an opinion. “I made two statements. One is a fact and one is an opinion. Which is which? What is the difference between a fact and an opinion?” (A fact is a truth, a reality, a real or true thing or idea. An opinion is a view, a belief, or judgment of something. A fact is provable, an opinion is not.)

    Have students complete the Fact and Opinion Nearpod. Next, write an opinion on the board. For example, “Broccoli is the best vegetable.” “Is this statement a fact or an opinion?” (an opinion) Draw a T-chart labeled “agree” and “disagree.” Have students write their names on sticky notes. Taking turns, students place their sticky notes in the column indicating their position on the statement. Once each student has had a turn, examine the results as a large group. Ask students to volunteer their reasons for voting the way they did. Introduce the concepts of claim and support. “Your claim is your opinion or position on an issue, and you need to use logical reasoning and facts to support it, to show that it is an opinion worth having.”

    Finally, break students into small groups according to the position they chose, for or against broccoli. In these small groups, ask students to write a list of reasons to support their claim that broccoli is or is not the best vegetable. Have them write their words or phrases in Word Cloud (using Mentimeter). Give them approximately 10 minutes to complete this activity. Then ask each group to share its list. Have students vote as a class on the top three reasons for and against broccoli being the best vegetable; write the reasons on the board and save them for future use.

    Part 2

    “Who can tell about a time when you had a strong opinion about something?” Have students think and share with partners and share with the class. Have students complete the Facts and Opinions Flocabulary Nearpod.

    Review the definitions of audience and opinion and build on students’ understanding of fact versus opinion. “Writing that is meant to communicate the way the writer thinks is called ‘opinion writing.’ The audience is the person or people who might read this opinion. To make sure the audience understands, the writer must keep it in mind. For example, you would write using different word choices if you were writing to a friend versus a parent or teacher. You should make your writing address your audience appropriately. In opinion writing, you should give logical reasons and details to support your opinion, or use other people’s research to support the way you think. Let’s look at an opinion essay written by a student.”

    Read the short sample essay to the class. Post the sample in Google Classroom. Have students using Kami to annotate the sample lesson and write notes. Once the class has read and annotated the essay, take a few minutes to analyze it together. Ask the following questions (all of which should be posted in the Google Classroom assignment):

    • “What is the author’s opinion, claim, or position statement?”

    • “Who is the author’s possible audience?”

    • “What logical reasons and facts/research does the author give to support his/her opinion?”

    • “What counterargument, opposing point, or opposite opinion does the author address?”

    When finished, begin to transition to independent writing by asking, “What are some things about which you have a strong opinion? Which sport is the best? Which subject in school is the best? Do you feel that bullies should face tougher consequences? Do you think that your family should donate to a certain charity?” Write down about five ideas. Then have students independently write a list of things they have a strong opinion about (also known as their passions). Provide time to share students’ lists. Encourage students to use good communication to give constructuve criticism. These lists will be used in the next block.

    Part 3

    “Today we’re going to review what we’ve learned so far about opinion writing. I am going to give you a sheet of paper to help you with prewriting your opinion paper.” Hand out copies of the Opinion Writing—Prewriting activity sheet. “Using your list, decide which topic you’d like to write about. Complete the prewriting paper using your idea.”

    Have students select one of the items from the list of things that they have a strong opinion about. Have them write a paragraph about that idea. They should identify a possible audience and write five to seven sentences that use logical reasoning or facts that support their opinion. Evaluate students’ prewriting organizer to check for understanding and provide feedback.


    Assessments/Exit Ticket

    Step 4 Assessments

    Students' essays will be grading using the attached rubric. Students' prewriting will also be considered, though it will not be included in the final grade. Students' participation in discussions and activities will also be graded.