Opinion writing –How to teach response writing
Response or opinion writing is an easy way to get even very young children involved in shared writing. All children have opinions, starting at toddler age. Response writing is giving your opinion about something you have read or an experience that you have had. Possibilities of responses are endless. Here are a few ideas.
- What you like or don’t like
- What you want to do next
- Why you think something happened
- What something reminds you of
- If a choice was a good choice or not, and what might be a better choice
Here is an example of a shared opinion writing.
After taking my very young children to the park, we wrote down our opinions about our trip. We talked about what we liked. First we brainstormed and everyone shared ideas. This got the children thinking. Of course, they changed opinions several times. This made the discussion more lively! After they had each settled on one favorite thing, we wrote our response. Then we read it together and added the last sentence. The children enjoyed doing shared writing as a follow-up to a fun activity.
Do the following steps for a shared response writing activity.
- Choose an experience that you have shared. (A book that you have read, or an activity that you have done.
- Ask some questions that are appropriate for the children’s level to elicit a response about the experience.
- Write the responses. For very young children, pattern sentences such as “I like ____________” are just fine.
- Read the responses with the children to make sure that they say what you want them to.
- Work together to make any changes needed.
The length of opinion writing should be age appropriate. For very young children it should be very short. For older children you can probe a little deeper to help them come up with more thoughtful ideas.
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