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Not So Wimpy Teacher

The Not So WImpy Teacher creates resources for busy teachers in grades 2-5 who are looking to deliver engaging and meaningful lessons without overwhelm and chaos.

opinion essay examples grade 4

Opinion Writing Unit FOURTH GRADE

Grade Level: 4th Grade

My fourth grade opinion writing unit includes 8 weeks of done-for-you writing lessons about how to write a strong opinion essay . This unit contains detailed lesson plans, mentor texts, anchor charts, student writing tasks, and rubrics –everything you need to be a capable, confident writing teacher with students who love to write.

More about this resource

If teaching writing has ever made you cry, weep, tear out your hair, question your existence, or binge-watch reality television—because it’s just that frustrating and overwhelming—this writing unit is perfect for you. 

If your students dread writing time more than meatloaf in the school cafeteria…this writing unit is perfect for them, too. 

Teaching writing can be tough. Teachers tell me that their district-provided writing curriculum is:

  • too complicated

Or worse, they don’t have any curriculum at all. Yikes! 

But my fourth grade opinion writing unit makes teaching writing easy . It takes all the guesswork out of teaching writing and gives you the tools you need to teach engaging and effective writing lessons without breaking a sweat.

The ready-to-use lessons and activities in this opinion writing unit will teach your students h ow to use supporting facts, reasons, and examples, consider opposing viewpoints, write topic and concluding sentences, and structure paragraphs . And all you have to do is print and teach . The lesson plans are that simple. Seriously.

Student-friendly mentor texts  make it easy to provide illustrative examples of new writing skills. You don’t have to waste your time and money hunting down just the right book.   Focused mini lessons  and  daily writing tasks  simplify the writing process helping ALL students, even reluctant writers, experience success.  Preprinted anchor charts  make it easy to model new skills and engage in shared writing without wasting valuable time.

And best of all, my opinion writing unit  makes writing fun  for  ALL  your students – from  reluctant writers  to  excited writers . The  Student Success Path  helps you identify where your students are on their writing journey and plan just-right lessons and  interventions .  Short, focused lessons  keep students engaged. Simple, direct writing tasks help kids develop confidence.  Conference materials,  including outlines and topic cards, you can use to guide small group discussion make it easy for you to  differentiate lessons.

Choice empowers students  to write about things they care about and makes them more invested in their writing. And that’s a big deal because  students who enjoy writing and get lots of practice perform better on standardized testing.

Plus, these materials are  easy-to-use . Everything is organized in folders to help you find just what you need. A  Quick Start Guide  makes it simple to get started and provides tips on how to prep materials for long-term use.

The 2-week  Starting Writing Workshop mini-unit  will help you start your writing instruction on the right foot. Detailed teacher directions show you exactly how to use all the resources and activities.

How Our Writing Curriculum is Aligned with the Science of Reading :

  • Structured writing routine: Our writing curriculum is organized into 4 genres. Each 8-week unit is carefully structured, beginning with foundational skills before moving into more advanced skills. Students are taught a systematic approach to writing including: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
  • Explicit instruction: Daily lessons begin with explicit instruction including access to examples via mentor texts, modeling, and directed practice. Each skill is broken down into bite-size pieces so that students can learn one skill at a time. Students practice skills independently, working on one sentence or paragraph at a time.
  • Differentiation: Writing is differentiated through small group instruction that provides reteaching, additional practice, and support at appropriate levels.
  • Daily opportunities to write: The majority of the writing lesson is reserved for independent writing time, providing students with large blocks of time to write and practice skills every day. 
  • Demonstrates the connection between reading and writing: Mentor texts provide concrete examples of writing skills and allow children to experiment with and apply sophisticated skills and language in their own writing. In addition, constructing their own writing pieces helps students recognize, connect, and understand these strategies when reading.  

What’s Included:

  • Detailed teacher directions and suggestions for simple implementation
  • Unit-at-a-glance calendar for each unit
  • 7 exclusive videos walking you through how to get the most out of these writing units
  • 40 days of lesson plans that include guiding questions, materials, mini lessons, student work tasks, student share tasks, intervention, and several extension activities
  • 14 original mentor text passages
  • 24 opinion writing task cards (identifying whether a topic is an opinion)
  • 24 opinion writing prompts task cards
  • 11 teacher anchor charts (blank and filled in versions)
  • Student anchor charts and printable for writing notebooks
  • Conference and goal tracking forms
  • Writing grades tracking forms
  • List of 10 additional mentor text books (Remember, using them is optional, because I’ve included all the mentor texts you need) 
  • 6 different writing publishing papers
  • Student writing notebook cover and dividers
  • Teacher notebook covers and binder spines
  • Multiple ideas for author share celebration
  • DIGITAL writing notebooks on Google Slides
  • Conferencing Materials – Conference outlines, a sample conference, and topic cards you can use to guide your small-group conferences
  • Student Success Path – Identify where your students are on their writing journey
  • Starting Writing Workshop Bonus – Two weeks of writing lesson plans to help build stamina and set your students up for writing success

Skills Covered:

Students learn h ow to craft a strong opinion essay using supporting facts, reasons, and examples, topic and concluding sentences, and structured paragraphs. Lessons include:

  • Setting goals
  • What is an opinion essay?
  • Generating essay ideas
  • Writing strong opinion statements
  • Writing a lead
  • Supporting your opinion with reasons
  • Considering your audience
  • Consider opposing opinions
  • Supporting your opinion with examples
  • Topic and concluding sentences
  • Word choice
  • Transitions
  • Writing a conclusion
  • Generating deeper topics (research based)

How to Use it in the Classroom: 

A typical day of writing:.

I recommend you set aside thirty minutes for writing each day (or more if you have it). Check out the sample schedules below. Each day follows the same plan:

  • Mini-Lesson (8-10 minutes):  The day kicks off with a mini-lesson to teach a particular skill. The mini-lesson uses mentor text (remember, it’s included in the unit) and anchor charts. For the teacher version of the anchor charts, you can project and fill them out with the class, or print and display them in your classroom. The student versions are smaller so they can fill them out and keep them in their writing notebooks for reference.
  • Work Time (18-20 minutes) : Students will apply the skill they just learned into their writing each day. The included writing tasks make it crystal-clear what to do during independent writing time–for you and your students. By the end of the unit, they will have completed two full masterpieces and many other independent writings.
  • Share Time (2 minutes) : Students are encouraged to share a piece of their writing with a partner or with the entire class. This makes writing more meaningful to kids and holds them accountable.

Organization Made Easy:

  • The opinion writing unit is organized into multiple folders and files so it’s easy for you to find what you need.
  • A 40-day daily schedule so you know exactly what to teach each day.
  • Detailed daily lesson plans make teaching writing easy.

Differentiation:

There are many ways to differentiate writing assignments:

  • Use the Student Success Path to identify where students are on their writing journey and use the suggested interventions to modify lessons.
  • These daily writing prompts are intentionally short and sweet so that all students, even those below grade level, can feel successful. Most tasks can be completed in 1-2 sentences.
  • More advanced writers can write longer responses, or work on a second masterpiece if they finish early.
  • Students can complete fewer task cards or work with a partner; you can also provide support to students as they work on task cards.
  • The process for teaching writing includes group conferencing time. These groups should be based on ability so that you can individualize your instruction to meet the specific needs of the group. Use the topic cards to guide your small group lessons.

Why you’ll love this writing unit: 

  • You’ll save hours of prepping and planning time. The daily lesson plans are easy to implement. All you have to do is print and teach. 
  • Mentor texts are included. You do not need to hunt down or purchase any additional books! (Unless you want to. Far be it from me to stand between a teacher and new books.) 
  • Digital anchor charts project onto your white board-so you don’t have to be Picasso or Renoir to anchor your kids in the lesson.
  • Pre-printed student anchor charts make it easy for students to follow along without having to write every word and draw complicated diagrams.
  • Digital student notebooks are perfect for 1:1 classrooms and a great way to save paper.
  • These lessons work for all students, even students below grade level.
  • Task cards incorporate movement, reinforce concepts, and make learning fun. Daily share time encourages students to take pride in their writing.
  • Direct writing instruction provides a solid foundation of writing skills that leads to increased test scores.
  • Aligned with the Science of Reading.

*****************************

More Fourth Grade Writing Units:

Personal Narrative for Fourth Grade

Informational Writing for Fourth Grade

Fiction Narrative for Fourth Grade

Frequently Asked

Yes. I also have personal narrative , informational essay , and fiction narrative writing units available.

This opinion writing unit is available for grade 4. I also have opinion writing units available for grades two , three , and five .

I prefer composition notebooks because they are sturdy and easy to use and store. But other teachers have used spiral bound notebooks or three-ring binders.

Yes. These writing lessons are based on Common Core standards.

The lessons for consecutive grade levels are very similar because the standards are similar. The biggest difference is that the reading level on the mentor text passages is modified to meet the specific grade level. Other differences include new examples in the lesson plans and anchor charts and new task cards. It is generally fine to use units that are one level above or below grade level. You might want to select the lower grade level to ensure that the mentor texts are easier for students to read.

Each unit includes eight weeks of materials. I recommend spending 30-45 on writing each day. The lesson takes 8-10 minutes and the rest of the time would be used for independent writing.

Students complete two masterpieces in each unit. But they may work on additional pieces if they finish daily assignments early.

My writing units are a standalone curriculum. They are not based on or aligned with any other curriculum. However, they are based on the writing standards. My curriculum is organized into units of study and formatted in the workshop model and hundreds of teachers have successfully used my writing units with their district provided curriculum.

My writing units are a standalone curriculum. They are not based on or aligned with any other curriculum. With that being said, I have hundreds of teachers who have chosen to use my units as a supplement to their Lucy curriculum because it is more manageable and engaging for students.

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opinion essay examples grade 4

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Grammar and Writing Workbook for Grade 4

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Opinion writing prompts for grade 4

Stating your opinions.

These writing prompts ask students to state their opinions on various topics, including writing reviews . Help with transition words, linking words and/or sentence stems is provided.

opinion essay examples grade 4

What is more important?

    Conform or be yourself?

    Money or happiness?

    Being confident or being right?

Which is better?

    The fastest runner or swimmer?

    Playing outside or video games?

    Sleeping in or staying up late?

Write a review:

    Novel review

    Movie review

    Product review

    App review

    Lunch review

    Toy review

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Possessions or experiences?

Hard work or talent?

Be creative or be organized?

A party or a trip?

Project review

Place review

Weekend review

Transportation review

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Printable 4th Grade Persuasive Essay Structure Worksheets

Persuasive Writing: Soda

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Opinion Writing (Grades 4-6)

Our Opinion Writing lesson plan for grades 4-6 will introduce your students to the basics of opinionated writing, and help them craft their own opinionated responses to open-ended questions.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to help struggling students brainstorm reasons for an opinionated topic by giving them different subjects that they can choose from.

Description

Additional information, what our opinion writing (grades 4-6) lesson plan includes.

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Opinion Writing guides students through the process of brainstorming a topic, outlining their paper, and writing a five-paragraph essay on a topic of their choosing. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to successfully write a well-organized and persuasive opinion paper. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you will need for this lesson are the handouts, and to prepare ahead of time, you can copy them.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. This lesson lists two optional additions for students who may be struggling with the lesson material. With these students, you can help them brainstorm reasons for an opinionated topic by giving them different subjects that they can then choose from. You can also have them create a pros and cons list for each side to discover the reasons for each topic.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.

OPINION WRITING (GRADES 4-6) LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES

Opinion writing.

The Opinion Writing (Grades 4-6) lesson plan includes two content pages. It begins by discussing opinionated writing. Opinions are how you think or feel about a subject. People have opinions on everything that you can think of, from favorite school subject to least favorite vegetable. Different people have different opinions. Your favorite fast food restaurant may be different from someone else’s. It’s normal for people to have different opinions, and this is what makes people unique!

The lesson next states that opinion writing allows writers to share what they believe. Opinionated writing aims to share your opinion and back it up with reasons. You can use opinion writing to let other people know what and why you’re thinking. There are specific words that we use when writing in this way. We often use words such as like, I believe, and I think in opinion writing. When you write an opinion essay, you must include reasons for your opinion. The best way to find these reasons is to think about why you believe that way. You must then back these reasons up with specific examples. This will make your argument more compelling and will help people understand your opinion.

The lesson then includes two paragraphs. Students should read the paragraphs and try to determine which is informational and which is opinion-based. The first paragraph explains to readers what a natural habitat is. The author gives examples of habitats and what they offer different species. It doesn’t tell how the author feels about the subject and primarily share information about it. This paragraph is the informational paragraph. The second paragraph is opinion-based and discusses why the author thinks people shouldn’t cut down natural habitats. They use strong language, like the words awful and wrong to explain how they feel.

OPINION WRITING (GRADES 4-6) LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS

The Opinion Writing (Grades 4-6) lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.

INFORMATIONAL VS OPINIONATED ACTIVITY WORKSHEET

Students will work with a partner to complete the activity worksheet. They will read two passages and decide which passage is informational and which is opinion-based. They will then underline the opinion-based words and circle the reasons the author gives.

PASSAGE PRACTICE WORKSHEET

The practice worksheet asks students to read a passage and answer questions about it. These questions ask whether the passage is informational or opinion-based, what their personal opinion on the topic is, and more.

OPINION WRITING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

For the homework assignment, students will read a short prompt and answer the questions in a way that shows what they believe. The questions are open-ended and students should back up their opinion with specific reasons.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment, though they note that students’ answers will vary.  If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

grade-level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

subject

Language Arts

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1, LB.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A, LB.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B, LB.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1, LB.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Opinion writing allowed me to guide the students how to share their opinions. Students all identified that opinions differ from facts. However, opinions can be supported by facts.

Opinion Writing 4-5 Grade

It was very helpful in helping my student write evidence based opinion essays.

GREAT resource and very beneficial

I was so pleasantly surprised by the lesson plans and variety of topics!!

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4th grade nonfiction writing samples

by: Jessica Kelmon | Updated: June 21, 2018

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4th-grade-writing

In fourth grade, students are starting to prepare for middle school, when nonfiction writing is practiced in all subjects. What’s more, under the Common Core Standards, nonfiction writing is more and more essential to the curriculum. Learn more about your fourth grader’s writing under Common Core . According to the standards, students should be learning three types of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Like a report, the purpose of this type of writing is to convey information accurately with facts, details, and supportive information.

These can be stories or screenplays or other fiction written in the first, second, or third person.

Opinion pieces

In opinion writing, students encourage readers to accept their opinion about something by writing what they and why.

Fourth grade writing sample #1

John Cabot and the Rediscovery of North America

In this child’s report on John Cabot, you’ll see a few important features. First, there are five sections, each with a bolded header announcing what sort of information follows. Note that the fifth section is the bibliography, where everyone can see the two sources this student relied on for her information.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

Fourth grade writing sample #2

Big Book of Evolution

Dylan’s report on evolution is also divided into sections. Note that Dylan uses visuals throughout this report. What’s more, the report has a table of contents at the beginning, and at the end, Dylan cites his sources for the written information and the visuals.

Fourth grade writing sample #3

A Tale of Despereaux

This is a classic fourth grade book report. Note that the student uses headers to announce what type of information follows: the summary, the characters, and the writer’s recommendation about the book.

Fourth grade writing sample #4

Zoos Should Close

This student writes an opinion piece about why she thinks zoos should close. Note that she cites multiple reasons with examples of why zoos aren’t good for animals. She also addresses a counterargument and refutes it, which isn’t actually required until seventh and eighth grade.

Type of writing: Opinion writing

See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten , first grade , second grade , third grade , fifth grade .

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Reading Foundation

Reading informational text, reading literature, speaking and listening, vocabulary development, ccss ela standards, ccss math standards, grade 4 opinion writing worksheets.

Cultivate opinion writing skills in elementary students with our collection of worksheets. From linking words to providing reasons, forming conclusions, and exploring real-world connections, these interactive resources provide a structured approach to opinion writing, promoting language development and critical thinking in an engaging and printable format.

interactive | printable worksheet on CCSS W.4.1 - Opinion Writing for Supporting a Point of View - thumbnail

RELATED WORKSHEETS

interactive | printable worksheet on CCSS W.5.1.A - Opinion Writing - thumbnail

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33 Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

Show kids how powerful sharing ideas in writing can be.

Mentor Texts feature image

In today’s world, we want our teaching to inspire students to be forward thinkers and changemakers. Teaching them how to share their opinions in writing is a key ingredient. Let’s get kids making signs and writing letters, lists, reviews, essays, blog posts, and speeches! Check out some of our favorite opinion-writing mentor texts to bring this important genre to life for kids. We’ve got plenty of picture books for the younger set, and titles to help older kids make the leap to persuasive writing backed by researched facts.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. We Disagree by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Book cover for We Disagree as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

A mouse and a squirrel think differently about, well, everything. Can they ever be friends? This is such a cute title for introducing kids to what it means to share an opinion, and it could lead to plenty of writing prompts to open an opinion-writing unit.

Buy it: We Disagree on Amazon

2. I Love Insects by Lizzy Rockwell

Book cover for I Love Insects as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

This early reader should definitely be in your primary classroom collection of opinion-writing mentor texts to help introduce the genre. Do you love insects? Two kids give competing reasons for why and why not. Read it aloud and head straight into shared writing of a list of pros and cons.

Buy it: I Love Insects on Amazon

3. Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight

Book cover for Usha and the Big Digger as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

To introduce kids to opinion writing, you need opinion-writing mentor texts to teach them what “opinions” are—and Usha, Aarti, and Gloria have them in this book! They each see something different when they look at the stars. This book could lead to a great introduction activity in which students try to convince each other that they see the Big Dipper, a “Big Digger,” a “Big Kite …” or something else. (Hint: It’s all in your perspective!)

Buy it: Usha and the Big Digger on Amazon

 4. Don’t Feed the Bear by Kathleen Doherty

Book cover for Don't Feed the Bear as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

When a park ranger puts up a “Don’t Feed the Bear” reminder, he has no idea about the persuasive sign-writing battle he’ll set in motion. (Strategic language includes “Please feed the ranger rotten eggs and slimy spinach.”) Share this hilarious title to introduce students to using signs to influence others’ thinking.

Buy it: Don’t Feed the Bear on Amazon

5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Book cover for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

Let a favorite character guide young students in the art of persuasion. The bus driver does not want Pigeon in the driver’s seat, but the well-known bird builds an emotional and unrelenting case.

Buy it: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! on Amazon

6. Our Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali

Book cover for Our Favorite Day of the Year

We adore sharing this book with young students to open inclusive conversations about favorite holidays and traditions. Each student in Musa’s class shares about their favorite day of the year, from Eid Al-Fitr to Pi Day. Use this book to prompt kids to write their own opinion pieces about their favorite days, and to model how reasoning, information, and anecdotes can support one’s opinion.

Buy it: Our Favorite Day of the Year on Amazon

7. Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris

Book cover for Kamala and Maya's Big Idea

This true story from Kamala Harris’ childhood details how she and her sister wrote letters to their landlord until he agreed to let them build a playground in their apartment complex courtyard. Get kids excited about how their opinion writing could create real change!

Buy it: Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea on Amazon

8. If I Were President by Trygve Skaug

Book cover for If I Were President

A young boy talks at length about what he’d do differently if he ran the country. Maybe cars could run on legs instead of gasoline, and “playing” should be a subject taught in school. Share this with kids who need more ideas for opinion-writing topics!

Buy it: If I Were President on Amazon

9. The Little Book of Little Activists by Penguin Young Readers

Book cover for The Little Book of Little Activists as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

Introduce young students to the idea of activism and its connection to opinion writing. This inspiring photo essay includes examples of kids’ opinions about real-life causes and many written signs.

Buy it: The Little Book of Activists on Amazon

10. The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan

Book cover for The Big Bed as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

This protagonist is a toddler on a mission—a mission to kick her dad out of her parents’ bed so she can sleep with her mom. Use this little girl’s precocious modeling to show students how to polish their own opinion writing by adding visual supports.

Buy it: The Big Bed on Amazon

11. The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini

Book cover for The Perfect Pet as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

Elizabeth crafts a plan to convince her parents to let her have a pet, with unexpected—but pleasing—results. This is our favorite opinion-writing mentor text for introducing kids to win-win solutions and encouraging them to suggest them in their own opinion writing.

Buy it: The Perfect Pet on Amazon

12. & 13. Can I Be Your Dog? and I Found a Kitty! by Troy Cummings

Book cover for Can I Be Your Dog? as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

First, read a collection of persuasive letters from a lonely dog seeking an owner that’s a twist on kids’ pet requests. Each letter is tailored to a specific audience, with Arfy promising to lick things clean, protect, and deliver endless affection.

In the sequel, Arfy uses his persuasive skills to help someone else, a lovable stray kitten. Notice with students how he once again shapes his reasoning for each recipient—and how he doesn’t give up until he’s successful!

Buy it: Can I Be Your Dog? on Amazon

Buy it: I Found a Kitty! on Amazon

14. True You: A Gender Journey by Gwen Agna and Shelley Rotner

Book cover for True You: A Gender Journey

This delightful and important title stars real kids with a full range of gender identities. Each child introduces themselves in a speech bubble that shares their opinion about gender identity. Use this title to model talking to the reader using strong, direct language.

Buy it: True You: A Gender Journey on Amazon

15. Stella Writes an Opinion by Janiel Wagstaff

Book cover for Stella Writes an Opinion as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

Sometimes you want perfectly straightforward opinion-writing mentor texts that match right up with your teaching goals. Stella thinks second graders should be able to have a morning snack time. She sets out to write about her opinion, state her reasons, and ends with a compelling summation.

Buy it: Stella Writes an Opinion on Amazon

16. I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff

Book cover for I Wanna New Room as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

After his successful angling for a pet in I Wanna Iguana , Alex tries using note-writing to broach his next request: a room of his own, away from his pesky younger brother. The parent-child communication includes plenty of examples of making and responding to counterarguments.

Buy it: I Wanna New Room on Amazon

17. Be Glad Your Dad … Is Not an Octopus! by Matthew Logelin and Sara Jensen

Book cover for Be Glad Your Dad is Not an Octopus! as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

This author’s opinion is that you should appreciate your dad for who he is. He makes his case with plenty of arguments grounded in facts—facts that show that if your dad were an animal, he could be even more gross, embarrassing, or annoying!

Buy it: Be Glad Your Dad … Is Not an Octopus! on Amazon

18. Earrings! by Judith Viorst

Book cover for Earrings! as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

A young girl desperately wants her ears pierced, but her parents respond to her begging with a firm no. Ask students to evaluate the merits of her various arguments. Which are strong? Which are just whiny?

Buy it: Earrings! on Amazon

19. Pick a Picture, Write an Opinion! by Kristen McCurry

Book cover for Pick a Picture, Write an Opinion! as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

If you’re looking for opinion-writing mentor texts that lay it all out there explicitly, you’ll appreciate this resource. Engaging, diverse photos and topics, a kid-friendly tone, and explicit advice make this a helpful primer to accompany more conventional mentor texts.

Buy it: Pick a Picture, Write an Opinion! on Amazon

20. I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide Cali

Book cover for I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

This narrator has plenty of reasons to dislike his self-centered cats, which he outlines in specific detail. Use this title as an example of a multi-pronged argument. (Plus, show that sometimes, opinion writing actually leads us to change our own minds. By the end, the owner realizes he actually loves his pets, quirks and all.)

Buy it: I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) on Amazon

21. I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon

Book cover for I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't as an example of mentor texts for opinion writing

Zoe makes big plans for her future, from being an archaeologist to a veterinarian. She quiets self-doubt with confident arguments. Aside from sharing this title’s lovely, affirming message, use it to teach kids to anticipate tough questions and head them off convincingly in their opinion writing.

Buy it: I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t on Amazon

22. Rise Up and Write It by Nandini Ahuja

Book cover for Rise Up and Write It

Farah Patel works to convince her local government to improve a vacant lot to benefit her community. Great realistic examples of using letters and signs to inspire change!

Buy it: Rise Up and Write It on Amazon

23. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Book cover for The Day the Crayons Quit as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

These disgruntled but endearing crayons have opinions, and they aren’t shy about making them known in this read-aloud favorite. Check out this free downloadable educator guide from the publisher for persuasive letter-writing curriculum connections.

Buy it: The Day the Crayons Quit on Amazon

24. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating

Book cover for Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

The best opinion writing springs from genuine conviction. Eugenie Clark believed sharks were fascinating and  that women could be accomplished scientists who study them. Use this title to help students generate their own passion-fueled topics about which to write.

Buy it: Shark Lady on Amazon

25. What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers

Book cover for What Can a Citizen Do?

Share this title for its inspiring message about the power of one citizen to evoke positive change through spoken words, writing, and action. Also consider it as an example of how words and art interact in opinion writing; the illustrations and text work together here to advance the book’s message.

Buy it: What Can a Citizen Do? on Amazon?

26. Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest by Sarah Hampson

Book cover for Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest

Dr. Archibald Coo believes that pigeons don’t deserve their reputation as avian pests. He outlines a plan to change the minds of his city neighbors. Part of his approach is to send a persuasive letter to the mayor, suggesting creative, mutually beneficial agreements—a great example for student writers aiming to change the minds of authority figures.

Buy it: Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest on Amazon

27. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Book cover for The Great Kapok Tree

The animals in this classic read-aloud give a range of reasons their home shouldn’t be chopped down. Use them as examples of how to vary sentence structures and formats when listing arguments and how to use specific details to strengthen reasoning.

Buy it: The Great Kapok Tree on Amazon

28. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Book cover for Let the Children March

This fictional account of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, told from the point of view of a young participant, is a classroom must-read. It exemplifies how children’s actions can make a difference in an adult world and how powerful language strengthens a written message.

Buy it: Let the Children March on Amazon

29. No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley

Book cover for No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History

This powerful title introduces inspiring and diverse young activists’ causes using original poems by notable authors. Show kids that impactful opinion writing can take many forms.

Buy it: No Voice Too Small on Amazon

30. The Week Junior magazine “Big Debate” feature

Covers for The Week Junior magazine

The Week Junior is one of our absolute favorite magazines for the classroom , and its “Big Debate” section is a main reason for that. Each issue examines both sides of an interesting topic, from whether we should eat Maine lobster, to if space exploration is worth the huge cost, to whether or not kids’ screen time should be restricted. Have kids study examples to get tips for their own opinion writing, and maybe even create their own “Big Debate.”

Buy it: The Week Junior

31. Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean by Patricia Newman

Book cover for Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean as an example of opinion writing mentor texts

This is a fantastic resource for upper elementary and middle school classrooms moving from opinion writing to research-based persuasive writing. This mind-boggling look at the impact of trash on our oceans gives kids so many models for sharing one’s opinions, experiences, and knowledge to spark change. Embedded QR codes take readers straight to awesome examples of persuasive speeches and other cool resources that support the author’s message.

Buy it: Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean on Amazon

32. We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell

Book cover for We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

A classroom prepares to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with research projects that convey a clear message: Native Nations are still here! Besides being critical content for kids, this is a great example of how to use researched facts to support one’s opinion.

Buy it: We Are Still Here! on Amazon

33. Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You! by Marley Dias

Book cover for Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!

Every middle school student should meet Marley Dias through this powerful account of her #1000blackgirlbooks campaign. It boasts plenty of practical advice for young activists. Pull text excerpts for mini-lessons about tailoring opinion writing to your audience. Marley writes straight to her peers.

Buy it: Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You! on Amazon

Excited to share these opinion-writing mentor texts? Also check out our favorite mentor texts for procedural and narrative writing.

Want more book lists and classroom ideas be sure to  subscribe to our newsletters, you might also like.

Examples of mentor texts including My Papi has a Motorcycle and Soul Food Sunday

32 Best Mentor Texts for Narrative Writing in Elementary School

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Student Writing Samples | Opinion Writing

Opinion Writing- Grade 4 - WOW! Autumn

Read Time 3 mins | Dec 9, 2021 9:45:44 AM | Written by: Toolbox

Wow Autumn.Sample Image copy

Opinion Writing Grade 4 Sample WOW! Is Autumn Already Here? 

Feedback for Improvement

Topic: Autumn Main Reason 1: Things to smell Main Reason 2: Things to feel Main Reason 3: Things to see

What worked:

This well-organized piece has lots of vivid sensory detail. It is awkward in places, but, all in all, the author does a good job of painting a picture of the smells, feelings, and sights of autumn.

  • a solid organizational strategy
  • plenty of sensory detail
  • good variety of main idea sentences , one stated as a question
  • the author’s enthusiasm for her topic is evident

Feedback with Prescriptive Lesson:

CHOOSE a Focus Skill: What skill will make the biggest impact for this writer?

Word Choice: the author repeats many key words (smell, taste, etc.) The author can become of aware of this by scanning the piece for repeated words and vary some of them.

  • Section 2 Lesson 15: Word Referents
  • Section 3 Lesson 8: Flip the Sentence Subject

The author begins and ends the paragraphs in the body of the piece with a variation on the same sentence, perhaps to reiterate the main idea. However, the piece is just as strong without that redundancy. 

Introduction: the piece would benefit by a stronger lead

  • Section 5 Lesson 1: Leads and Topic Sentences
  • Section 5 Lesson 2: Writing an Attention-Grabbing Lead

Conclusion: the conclusion paragraph is overly general and seems to focus on taste, even though that is not one of the main ideas. Instead of the repeated sentiment of loving autumn, that autumn is great, etc., the author could learn some additional techniques such as hypothetical anecdote, the use of informative verbs, and word referents.

  • Section 5 Lessons 8-12 on the conclusion paragraph

Recommended Resources

  • Empowering Writer's Methodology
  • Informational & Opinion Writing Guide for Grade 4

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