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Scaffolding opinion writing essays using sentence starters, paragraph frames, and templates in upper elementary

Scaffolding an Opinion Writing Essay With Frames and Templates

Scaffolding opinion writing essays using sentence starters, paragraph frames, and templates in upper elementary

Teaching opinion writing to your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students soon?  Use the sentence starters and paragraph frames below in your lessons to help students structure their writing, use transitional words, stay on topic, and support their opinions.

Templates like the examples below are a great way to introduce opinion writing.  The hope is that eventually, students will go on to write without a provided outline and add a little of their own personality to their writing, but starting off with a clear structure helps students learn to become better writers.

Start Small - With Opinion Writing Sentence Starters or Frames

3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students love giving their opinions, so help them structure their opinions with sentence starters and frames. This is a great way to introduce opinion writing and doesn't frustrate students.

Providing structure is especially beneficial for your ELL and low language students, but ALL students can improve their writing with this scaffolding.

Some example sentence starters are below.  Depending on the topic being discussed and the opinion being shared, not all sentence frames will work in all situations.  Adapt them for your particular scenario!

Example Sentence Starters

  • In my opinion, _____ is better than _____ because _____.
  • The best thing about _____ is _____.
  • I am strongly against _____ because _____.
  • Although some people believe _____, I believe _____.
  • Ever since _____, I have believed _____.

Using a Paragraph Template or Frame

Example paragraph frames.

In my opinion, __________ is better than __________ because __________.  For example, _______________.  Furthermore, _______________.  Clearly, _______________ is the worse option.

I prefer __________ because __________.  For instance, _______________.  Also, _______________.  Finally, _______________.

Opinion Writing Essay Template / Structure / Outline

Going from writing paragraphs to writing an entire essay can be overwhelming for upper elementary students - and middle school students as well!

Modeling how to write an opinion essay is an essential first step.  (My Scaffolded Opinion Writing Resource includes a teacher model to make this easy for you.)

After modeling an opinion essay, provide students with an opinion writing template/outline to help them structure their own writing.  This will help students stay on topic, use transitional words, and provide support for their opinions.  And, most importantly, it will keep students from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

Scaffolded Opinion Writing Essay Template for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students

If you know your students would benefit from this type of scaffolding but don’t have the time to create it yourself, check out my Scaffolded Opinion Writing Resource.

It walks students through the writing process with support each step of the way. This resource also provides a model essay so that you can model expectations for your students. Plus, it can be used over and over again with different topics.

If you found these opinion writing tips to be useful, then you will probably like these tips for teaching students how to write a compare and contrast essay. 

Want a Compare and Contrast Freebie?

Free reading comprehension practice for third, fourth, and fifth graders - paired passages about Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin

Download these reading passages with a compare and contrast activity for free and use it to today!


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Opinion essay writing

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Plan then write

In these worksheets, students plan and then write an opinion essay. The planning framework includes an essay topic sentence, reasons, supporting details, counterarguments and conclusions.

how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

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The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

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The Importance of Opinion Writing

Encouraging our students to express their personal opinions is an important part of the learning process; healthy even. To do this effectively, it is equally important that we help them acquire the necessary skills to express these opinions in a reasoned and coherent manner when teaching opinion writing.

Writing is one of the best possible vehicles for our students not only to express their opinions but to explore the strength and validity of those opinions.


For our students to competently express their opinions in writing, they must first understand the specific requirements of the type of question they are answering. Of course, there are many types of questions and fun opinion writing prompts that are geared towards coaxing personal opinions from a student and each will require its own specific tailored response.

It’s clear that personal opinions permeate a wide range of genres and media. We find opinions everywhere from hotel reviews and infomercials to political commentary and newspaper editorials. But, despite the diversity of forms opinion writing can take, we can helpfully identify some general criteria that will assist our students in navigating the challenge of most opinion writing prompts and questions.

Let’s take a look at some of these criteria in more detail.


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1. identify the audience: speak clearly.

Writing is about language and language is about communication; students should understand that we do not write in a vacuum. The purpose of an essay, letter, or any other form of writing we care to name, is ultimately to be read.

This means that it is essential that consideration be given to the character of the intended audience. Also, remind students that when they are writing, the reader is not privy to the inner workings of the writer’s mind. They must make their thoughts explicit in their writing and ensure that these thoughts are expressed in a coherent manner.

The student writer should always avoid making the assumption that the reader knows things that are not expressed explicitly in the writing.

2. Take a Stance: Stand Firm

From the very outset, the student should state their position boldly. More than that, they must stand firm in that opinion throughout the entirety of the piece.

Opinion writing is not about communicating a series of pros and cons or discussing at length the various related advantages and disadvantages, the place for that is not here. The opinion piece should open with a bold statement of opinion that is clearly expressed, and that opinion should be held unwaveringly and reinforced constantly throughout the text.

As with many other writing genres , employing a hook to grab the reader’s attention is good practice too. This hook can take the form of a quotation, an anecdote, a statistic, or even a joke. Whatever form the hook takes, it should reveal the writer’s take on things too.

To summarize, whatever the topic and however the student opens their opinion piece, they should ensure they express their opinion immediately and coherently. There should be no doubt in the reader’s mind as to where the student-writer stands on the issue.

3. Choose Appropriate Evidence: Back It Up

There is no doubt that subjectivity is an important aspect of opinion writing in general. That does not mean, however, that opinions do not need to be substantiated.

Your students will need to recognize that each and every statement of opinion will need to be supported by appropriate evidence. This will also help students to develop their critical reading skills as they will be able to better recognize when unsubstantiated claims are made by other writers. Opinions backed up with evidence help lead the reader along the writer’s pathways of thought; making the writing more convincing as a whole.

This evidence can take a wide variety of forms, ranging from personal anecdotes and quotations to statistics and references to scientific studies. Students should also always be encouraged to choose evidence that is broadly suited to the subject they are writing about.

4. Draw Conclusions: Wrap It Up

In the well-organized piece of opinion writing, as with many other types of extended writing, the writing should be structured in paragraphs. Paragraphs are essential elements of good writing organization.

Generally speaking, an opening paragraph gives way to body paragraphs. These body paragraphs, or development paragraphs, describe in more detail the ideas laid out in the initial opening paragraph by further exploring, explaining, and providing supporting evidence for each point.

The final concluding paragraph serves to close the circle by restating the central points in a closing endeavor to drive home the writer’s opinion.

5. A Word on Words

Writing is an art form. Attention to detail is important. But, it isn’t only important to look at the big picture things like structure, students should be encouraged to shift their focus from the text level down to the word and sentence levels too. In an opinion piece, strong, forceful verbs should be the order of the day. There is little space for passive forms when engaged in the construction of convincing arguments.

Things should be kept interesting too. Students should vary their sentence structures grammatically and in length. Variety is key.

 As always in writing, editing should be emphasized. The editing process polishes the well-wrought opinion piece by putting the final gloss on the student’s work.

The OREO Opinion Writing Process Explained

As with all genres, there’s a lot to remember here and acronyms are a helpful way to commit these important things to memory. Luckily, few things can be easier to commit to memory than the name of a delicious cookie:

O – Opinion

R – Reasons

E – Evidence or Examples

O – Opinion (restated)

This memorable acronym will help students remember some of the main elements of opinion writing as outlined above. But, sometimes the hardest thing for students to do is to get the writing ball rolling.

opinion writing | 4 opinion writing28129 | The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

Opinionated Sentence Starters

Sentence starters provide students with great ways to kick-start their writing. Reminding students of simple ways of introducing opinion sentences can be helpful. Here are a few for ‘starters’ for starters:

●     In my opinion…

●     I think that…

●     It seems to me that…

●     It appears to me…

●     I feel that…

opinion writing | 1 0001 sentence structure guide for teachers and students | The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

Once the student-writer has effectively expressed their opinion on a matter, they then will need to provide the reader with the reasons for why they think what they think. In an essay, these reasons will usually be found in the body paragraphs or development paragraphs. Normally, these paragraphs will explore a single reason each.

Some helpful sentence starters for introducing these reasons include:

●     One reason I feel this way is…

●     Evidence to support this can be found in…

●     I believe this to evident in…

Opinion Writing Activities for Students

Students will certainly need practice completing sustained pieces of opinion writing, but some of the most valuable activities to help students evolve their opinion writing abilities barely require a pen to be put to paper.

While the following two activities do not require students to engage in extended pieces of writing, the activities below will assist students in grasping some essential concepts. These activities demonstrate good practice through modelling and also encourage dialogue, discussion, and debate as a means to strengthen opinion writing.

Activity 1: Opinion Writing – What Is It?

This exercise is a good follow-up to introductory work outlining the criteria of opinion writing as described above.

●     Start by passing out copies of a piece of opinion writing you have selected to read with the class. Read the text aloud as the students follow along with their copy. The opinion text chosen can come from a wide range of genres, including advertisements, letters, editorials, essays, articles, or reviews.

●     Assign students a talking partner and instruct students to take five minutes to identify the various criteria employed in the text. Encourage students to mark and annotate their copies of the text accordingly. You may even wish to supply students with a checklist compiled from the criteria mentioned previously in this article.

●     As a whole class, discuss how successfully the text fulfills the criteria. What did the writer do well? What could they have done better? You can record their responses on the whiteboard.

The aim of this exercise is for students to hone their critical faculties while internalizing the criteria. This will reap rewards when the students later engage in their own extended opinion writing.

Activity 2: The Collaborative Case

This activity employs collaboration to help students build a stronger case for their opinion on a divisive issue.

●     First, define the parameters of the exercise by presenting an either/or conundrum to the class. This doesn’t have to be overly controversial in nature, just stated in such a way that it forces the students to take one side or another. This could be stated simply as a choice, e.g. Dogs or cats? City or countryside? Beach or Mountains? Sweet or savory?

●     Students then divide into two groups according to their stated preferences. In their groups, they then discuss and compile as many supporting reasons for their choice as they can come up with. As a group, they will discuss the relative merits of each reason, before agreeing on their top five.

●     The groups then share their reasons in a debate format, using arguments and counter-arguments, leading into an open, free-ranging discussion.

The value of this exercise lies in the collaborative and ‘combative’ natures of the exercises. Just as our physical muscles can grow through resistance, so too can the strength and resilience of our opinions and arguments.

This activity can also be used as a lead-in to opinion writing as it works well as a prewriting preparation exercise. The complexity of the issue to be discussed and debated can easily be modified to suit the abilities of the students too.


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These videos from teaching without frills are an excellent starting point for opinion writing. You can view the entire collection here.

  The Wrap Up

Opinion writing is a higher-level skill that makes many demands on our students. It will challenge them to move beyond parroting the facts and figures they have acquired in their learning to formulate their own thoughts on topics they have learned about in class, or in the wider world beyond the school gates.

It will make demands on their skill as writers too. Our students must learn to mold and mechanically manipulate the language on the page to express their beliefs persuasively and effectively. To do this successfully, they will need ample opportunities to practice their writing craft. Once a firm understanding of the structures involved has been established, the student can become more fluid in their expression. They will add art and flair to their craft. But first, they must build on these firm foundations.


opinion writing | PersuasiveWritingSkills | Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students | literacyideas.com

Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

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5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

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How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

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23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

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How to teach Opinion Writing to 3rd, 4th and 5th Graders

Opinion writing, also known as Persuasive writing, is by far an easy enough genre to teach 3 rd , 4 th, and 5th graders. Unlike narrative writing where creativity and flair come into play, the elements of opinion writing are more structured, almost formulaic, and thus easier to assimilate.

How to teach opinion writing to 3rd, 4th, 5th grades

Teaching The Structural Components of Opinion Writing

Students are known to turn out better writing pieces if they have direction. Hence explicitly teaching the structural components of a persuasive/opinion essay is essential.

If students are taught the form and structure of opinion writing, the job is half done. The success of the other half pretty much depends upon the writer’s content knowledge of the subject.

Teaching the structure of an opinion essay can thus be broken down into three major sections: The Introduction, The Body, and The Conclusion.

How to teach kids opinion writing

✏ The Introduction of Opinion Writing

How many times have we reminded our students that the beginning of an essay is so very important – that it has to arrest the reader’s attention so they are hooked to continue reading.

For the introduction to be effective, it must have a hook , the writer’s opinion, and a thesis statement . This is the structure of the introduction.

If students just practice writing an introduction on several given writing prompts for a week, adhering to structure for this section, will be second nature.

The Hook In the Introduction

Teaching students just one way to hook the reader in an opinion essay is not enough as different types of hooks would create different effects – besides we need to give our little writers lots of choices when it comes to writing. This flexibility goes a long way in getting their creative juices going when writing supporting details that support their opinion.

5 Popular Hooks to Support the Opinion

So you can teach your 3 rd , 4 th, and 5 th graders to begin their opinion essay with any one of the five different hooks. Interestingly, they are also called sizzling starts. And rightly so.

Students may begin with any one of the below hooks:

  • Strong Statement
  • Rhetorical Question

The first two starters are popular starters and I often encourage my 5 th graders to use either of them in their introduction.

How to teach persuasive writing to 3rd, 4th, 5th grades

Writing the Opinion of an Opinion Essay

Right after the hook, students write their opinion on the issue after weighing the pros and cons.

Now for the lower grades (grades 1-3), students could simply begin their opinion with any of the phrases:

  • ‘In my opinion..’
  • ‘I firmly believe…’
  • ‘I am of the opinion…’

However, 3 rd , 4 th, and 5 th graders need to show more sophistication in their writing, so beginning with these opinion starters would not do justice to the writing skill they are actually capable of implementing.

Instead, students need to convey their opinion subtly by reflecting on the issue. This will consequently lead to the thesis statement that follows next and sums up the introduction.

Do you need to teach your 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students how to write an opinon or a persuasive essay? This resource will help scaffold the techniques and the structural elements.

✏ Writing The Body of an Opinion Essay

We can teach our 3 rd , 4 th, and 5 th graders to adhere to structure when they write the body paragraphs of their opinion essay too.

Each body paragraph needs to have a reason introduced by a topic sentence , supporting details that support the reason, and a concluding sentence that sums up that body paragraph. If students are explicitly taught this structure, then they are more likely to stay on task and won’t get carried away in their writing.

So, how many body paragraphs should there be?

The best number, I tell my 5th-grade students is – three. Each reason is given its very own paragraph, with the last paragraph reserved for the most important reason.

The least strong reason should be sandwiched between the first strong reason and the last. This is in keeping with the notion that the beginning and end of any piece of writing are the most important.

How to teach opinion writing to 3rd, 4th, 5th grades

✏ Writing The Conclusion of an Opinion Essay

Some students are known to get so carried away with their reasoning in the body paragraphs that they often skip this last important section or don’t have the time to write it – if sitting a timed writing examination.

It is in this section, that students need to be reminded to re-visit their opinion, provide a summary statement of their reasons, and the most important of all – give a call to action that causes the reader to reflect on the issue.  In a real-life context, this call of action would induce the reader to take action on the basis of the arguments put forth.

how to teach opinion writing to grade 6

The Effective Approach to Teaching Opinion Writing

Now that all the structural elements of an opinion essay have been dissected, how does one go about teaching them explicitly to students – that is the question.

Based on my personal experience and in my opinion, the best approach would be to teach each structural component separately . This would entail providing ample practice and modeling on the elements involved.

Once students have a good understanding and practice of the structural components of each section, then they can write out the entire opinion essay, given a prompt. Prior to doing so, brainstorming ideas for each section on a graphic organizer would help structure students’ writing further and provide direction.

My Summary of How to Teach Opinion Writing to 3 rd , 4 th and 5 th Graders

So just a few take-away points for you when you next teach your 3 rd , 4 th, or 5 th graders how to write an opinion essay.

1. Teach students each structural component separately prior to having students write out the entire opinion essay based on a prompt.

2. Teach students how to write the introduction first in an opinion essay. This should include the different types of hooks, the opinion, and the thesis statement.

3. Teach students how to write the body of an opinion essay. This should also include each reason introduced by a topic sentence, 2-3 supporting details to support the reason, and a concluding sentence to conclude the paragraph and link back to the first reason in the topic sentence. This explicit teaching should be done for all body paragraphs.

4. Teach students how to write the conclusion which restates the writer’s opinion, provides a brief overview of the reasons, and gives a call to action.

5. And above all, remind students to edit their draft prior to publishing.

All this explicit teaching needs to be adequately supported by teacher modeling and ample student practice for each structural component of the opinion essay.

To conclude this post, structure provides focus and clarity of thought. Both of which we desire our students to have in order for them to turn out writing pieces that they are proud of and that we enjoy reading and – yes marking.

How to teach persuasive writing to 5th grade

Need a collection of self-written mentor texts ( no need to spend on books ), print-n-go sheets, interactive notebook activities, Scavenger Hunts, flipbooks, anchor charts, posters, checklists, and  marking rubrics  to teach your students a step-by-step approach to writing an opinion essay effectively? Then access the Opinion (Persuasive) Writing Growing Bundle.

Teaching Opinion Writing digitally? Learn more here.

And if you’d like a set of free Opinion Writing Signal Words posters to display in your classroom, access the link in the image below.

Opinion Writing Posters

Until Next Time…

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EL Education Curriculum

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  • ELA G5:M3:U2:L10

Writing an Opinion Essay: Planning

In this lesson, daily learning targets, ongoing assessment.

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Supporting English Language Learners

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.5.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • W.5.1a: Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose.
  • W.5.1b: Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  • W.5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.5.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.5.9b: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]"").
  • SL.5.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • I can plan an essay that states an opinion and has reasons that are supported by facts and details. ( W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.9b )
  • I can give kind, helpful, and specific feedback to my partner. ( W.5.5, SL.5.1 )
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer ( W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.5, W.5.9b )
  • Strategically pair students for the peer critique in the Closing with at least one strong reader per pair.
  • Review the Opinion Writing Checklist ( see the Tools page ).
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-2 to create anchor charts to share with families; to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families; and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.A.1, 5.I.A.3, 5.I.A.4, 5.I.A.5, 5.I.C.10, 5.I.C.11, 5.I.C.12, 5.II.A.1, 5.II.A.2, 5.II.C.6 , and 5.II.C.7

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by referring to the Factors for Success anchor chart from Unit 1 to plan their essays, inviting students to draw on conclusions from the text-based discussion to form their focus statements, allowing time for discussion throughout the lesson, and explicitly reviewing the characteristics of opinion writing as a class.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to go from annotating the Model Essay: Branch Rickey in Work Time A to planning their own opinion essays with the graphic organizer in Work Time B without having seen this process modeled. Consider filling in the graphic organizer with components of the model essay in Work Time A, providing students with concrete examples to refer to during their planning (see Meeting Students' Needs).

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Encourage students to use the focus structure from the Language Dive in Lesson 9, but it was _____, to write their focus statement, supporting students in using linking words and phrases to connect ideas. Challenge students to think of more than one way they could use this linking language to write their focus statement.

For heavier support:

  • Consider color-coding the text in the displayed Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer to match the corresponding information in the Painted Essay(r) template, signaling the information that goes in each section. For example, in the introduction paragraph box, the text "What context do you need to give to your reader?" would be color-coded red; "State your opinion:" would be green; all text in "Proof Paragraph 1" would be yellow; etc.
  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Students provide kind, helpful, and specific feedback during a peer critique of their opinion writing planning. As this familiar learning target is displayed, consider inviting students to share examples of this type of feedback from previous lessons and note their responses for visual display.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to support a range of fine motor abilities and writing needs by offering students options for writing utensils. Also, consider supporting students' expressive skills by offering partial dictation of student responses.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Since peer review can be threatening to some students, continue to emphasize the benefits of peer review and feedback for all students. Make this activity relevant by reminding students that writers have editors who provide feedback for their writing through each step in the writing process, which improves their writing.

Key:  Lesson-Specific Vocabulary  (L);  Text-Specific Vocabulary  (T);  Vocabulary Used in Writing  (W)

  • states, support, specific, reason, evidence, use my strengths (L)
  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Academic Word Wall (begun in Module 1)
  • Vocabulary logs (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Model Essay: Branch Rickey (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Directions for Opinion Essay (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Opinion Writing Checklist (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Colored pencils (green, yellow, blue; one of each color per student)
  • Preparing for a Text-Based Discussion: Jackie Robinson note-catcher (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Discussion Notes Form: Jackie Robinson (from Lesson 8; one per student)
  • Promises to Keep (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one per student)
  • "This I Believe: Free Minds and Hearts at Work" (text; from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Listening Closely: "Jackie Robinson: Royals to Obamas" note-catcher (from Lesson 4; one per student)
  • Factor for Success anchor charts (begun in Unit 1)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer (example, for teacher reference)
  • Sticky notes (two per student)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Directions for Peer Critique (from Module 1; one to display)
  • Peer Critique Protocol anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Language Dive I Practice: Model Essay: Branch Rickey homework (from Lesson 9; one per student)
  • Language Dive I Practice: Model Essay: Branch Rickey homework (example, for teacher reference)

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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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.

how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

Opinion Writing Unit FIFTH GRADE

Grade Level: 5th Grade

My fifth 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.

Also available in the following bundles

how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

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 bundle 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 fifth 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.

This resource is part of a money-saving writing writing bundle! Click HERE to see the bundle!

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

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 Bundles are Aligned with the Science of Reading :

  • Structured writing routine: Our writing bundle 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 30-45 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.


There are many ways to differentiate writing assignments:

  • 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.


  • 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 Fifth Grade Writing Units:

Personal Narrative for Fifth Grade

Informational Writing for Fifth Grade

Fiction Narrative for Fifth Grade

Writing Units for Other Grade Levels:

Second Grade Writing Bundle

Third Grade Writing Bundle

Fourth Grade Writing Bundle

Frequently Asked

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

This opinion writing unit is available for grade 5. I also have opinion writing units available for grades two , three , and four .

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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how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

Creative Writing Prompts

Opinion Writing Prompts 5th Grade: Express Your Insights

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My name is Debbie, and I am passionate about developing a love for the written word and planting a seed that will grow into a powerful voice that can inspire many.

Opinion Writing Prompts 5th Grade: Express Your Insights

1. Engaging Opinion ‍Writing Prompts to ⁣Nurture Critical Thinking ⁤Skills

2. ⁤promoting⁣ self-expression: captivating writing ideas for 5th graders, 3. crafting compelling arguments:‌ inspiring topics for opinion pieces, 4. encouraging ⁢empathy and⁢ perspective-taking ⁣through‌ opinion writing, 5. fostering a love for writing: exciting prompts for ‍5th grade⁤ opinion essays, 6. immerse in real-world⁢ issues: thought-provoking writing ⁣prompts for young⁤ minds, 7. ⁢nurturing‌ strong communication skills: opinion writing‍ activities and prompts, 8. enhancing analytical thinking: ⁢stimulating ⁢opinion writing prompts ‌for 5th graders, frequently asked questions, the ‍conclusion.

‍ ‍ Looking for ​ thought-provoking writing‌ prompts to​ stimulate your critical thinking​ skills? Look no further! Our engaging selection of‌ opinion writing prompts is designed ⁤to challenge your perspectives and encourage⁤ you⁤ to ​think ‍critically about various‍ topics. Whether you’re a student⁤ honing ‍your ​analytical abilities or⁣ an individual seeking intellectual⁢ stimulation, these ‍prompts will⁤ help you develop your critical thinking skills ‌in a fun and interactive ‌way.

⁣ Our carefully curated ⁤collection⁤ of ⁣opinion writing prompts covers a wide range of ⁤subjects, allowing you to explore multiple areas of interest. From current‍ events and ‍social issues to‌ personal beliefs and ethical dilemmas, our prompts offer a diverse set of ⁤topics to ensure​ a stimulating experience for every writer. By ​expressing your opinions, ⁤analyzing ⁤different⁣ viewpoints, and supporting your arguments with evidence, you ⁣will ​strengthen your ​critical thinking ⁤abilities and enhance‌ your ability to articulate⁢ your thoughts ​effectively. ⁢

  • Encourage exploration: Our prompts are designed to spark ⁢curiosity and prompt ⁣in-depth research, allowing you to ‍dive deeper into various subjects.
  • Promote analysis: By presenting‌ prompts‌ that require ‌you to evaluate multiple perspectives, we foster‌ critical ‍thinking‌ by encouraging you to ‌assess information ⁣critically.
  • Develop argumentation skills: Crafting ​well-supported arguments helps⁢ exercise‍ your critical thinking ‍muscles and ​enhances your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Foster open-mindedness: Engaging with diverse opinions and beliefs ‌through⁤ our⁤ prompts will nurture ​an open-minded approach to different perspectives.

Dive‍ into our collection of ⁣engaging opinion ‌writing prompts and unlock⁤ the potential of ⁢your⁢ critical thinking⁢ skills.⁣ Challenge yourself, ‌broaden your horizons, and sharpen your ​analytical abilities ​like never before! ⁣

Engaging 5th graders‍ in the world of writing ⁢can be ⁢an exciting journey of ⁣self-expression and ⁣creativity. Here, we ‍present a variety of ‍interesting⁤ writing ideas to help ⁣your 5th ​graders unleash​ their imagination and develop their ‌writing skills. Encourage them to express their ‍thoughts,‍ emotions, ​and experiences through captivating​ compositions ‌that will leave ⁢readers‌ wanting more.

1. Travel⁤ Diary: ⁢ Imagine you‌ are visiting ‌a place‍ that has always fascinated you. Write a descriptive travel diary entry capturing​ the ⁢sights, ⁢sounds, ‌and ​even the local culture of your ⁤dream‍ destination. Don’t forget ⁣to include ‍personal ⁤experiences ⁤and memorable moments!

2. Dear ⁣Future Me: Write a‌ heartfelt letter to your future ⁢self. Share your aspirations, goals, and dreams for the person‌ you’ll become. Reflect⁤ on the lessons you’ve learned and ‌the achievements you hope to accomplish as you grow older.

3. Superhero Tale: ⁣Create⁢ your own superhero⁤ and write an⁣ action-packed story featuring their incredible⁣ adventures. ​Consider their ⁣superpowers, challenges they face,‍ and the impact they make on society.​ Let ⁣your imagination soar!

4. ⁢ Poetry Corner: Explore the magic of poetry by writing a heartfelt poem about ⁣a significant ⁤person, place, or event in your life. Experiment with different‍ rhyming schemes or forms such as haiku⁣ or sonnet,⁢ and let your words flow like a river!

5. Pet Adventure: ⁣Imagine that your beloved pet embarks on an⁣ unexpected ​adventure. Write an engaging narrative that ⁢chronicles ⁤their thrilling journey ‌filled with⁤ unexpected twists and turns.⁢ Don’t forget to convey their ‌emotions and the lessons they learn along the‌ way!

Encourage‍ your⁢ 5th graders ​to‍ embrace these writing⁤ ideas as a canvas for their unique thoughts⁢ and ideas. Let‌ them showcase their creativity and watch as their passion for writing ​flourishes!

Opinion ​pieces are a powerful ​platform to express your thoughts, influence ‌public ‌opinion, ⁣and ignite meaningful discussions.‌ To ⁢craft a compelling argument, it is crucial to select‌ inspiring topics that captivate ⁢readers and stimulate ⁣their curiosity. Here are ⁤some thought-provoking subject areas to‍ consider:

  • Climate change activism: Explore the urgency⁢ of combating climate change, the‌ importance of renewable energy sources, or the⁤ impact of ⁤climate policies on⁤ future ‍generations.
  • Ethical ​considerations in technology: Delve ⁤into the⁤ ethical dilemmas surrounding⁣ artificial intelligence, ‌privacy issues ‌in social ⁣media,⁤ or the consequences‌ of technological advancements on⁤ employment.
  • Gender equality and feminism: Discuss the progress ⁢made towards gender equality, the‍ challenges still faced by ‍women in‍ society, or the importance ​of intersectionality ⁣in‍ the feminist movement.
  • Education⁢ reform: Investigate the‌ need for innovative teaching methods, the ⁣influence ‍of standardized⁢ testing ​on students, ⁢or⁢ the benefits of inclusive education.

Remember, ⁣the key to creating⁢ compelling arguments lies in presenting well-researched facts, engaging anecdotes, and persuasive⁤ reasoning.⁤ Choose topics ‍that⁤ align with your passions and leverage⁢ the power of your ‍words ​to ⁢inspire change and‍ spark⁤ dialogue.

4. Encouraging Empathy ⁤and⁣ Perspective-Taking ⁤through Opinion ⁤Writing

Opinion​ writing‍ provides a valuable​ opportunity ⁤for students to ⁣develop⁢ their empathy ⁣and perspective-taking skills. By taking‌ a stance⁤ on​ a particular issue and presenting their own arguments, students are​ encouraged to consider alternative viewpoints and‌ understand⁣ the experiences⁢ and ⁣emotions ⁤of⁢ others. This process fosters‍ a‌ diverse ⁢range of perspectives ⁤and nurtures a sense of⁢ empathy​ in the classroom.

Here’s‍ how you can⁤ encourage empathy ‍and perspective-taking through opinion writing:

  • Choose thought-provoking topics: Select​ topics⁤ that are⁤ relevant and ‍meaningful to students’ ‍lives. This will encourage them ‍to invest emotionally in their writing and develop a deeper ​understanding of the subject matter.
  • Promote research and critical thinking: Encourage ⁣students to research​ different⁤ perspectives on an issue ⁣before forming their own opinion. This empowers them to critically evaluate information, challenge assumptions, and develop a well-rounded​ argument.
  • Explore real-life experiences: Encourage students to incorporate personal anecdotes ‌or stories from others‍ to support their ​arguments. ​This not‍ only makes⁢ their ⁤writing more ‍relatable​ but also helps them connect with the experiences and ​emotions of others.
  • Facilitate respectful discussions: Create a safe space ⁤for students to ⁢express their opinions‌ and engage ​in ⁣respectful dialogue ‍with their ⁤classmates. ‍This ​allows ​them ⁣to⁣ understand and appreciate differing viewpoints, fostering empathy‍ and perspective-taking ​in the process.

Incorporating these⁣ strategies into opinion writing⁤ lessons can promote a more‍ inclusive ‍and‍ empathetic ‍classroom environment. Encouraging​ students ⁢to ⁤consider‍ different⁢ perspectives through their writing ‌not ⁣only​ enhances⁣ their ⁤critical thinking skills⁤ but also cultivates empathy,⁢ an essential‍ attribute ⁢for fostering understanding and compassion in our​ increasingly ​interconnected world.

5. Fostering a Love for Writing: Exciting Prompts for 5th Grade ‍Opinion​ Essays

Encouraging students to develop a‌ love ​for writing is an essential part of their⁤ educational ⁢journey.⁣ Opinion essays provide a ⁣wonderful ⁢opportunity‌ for 5th graders to express⁣ their thoughts and ideas in‌ a structured ‍and persuasive manner. To make the writing process ⁤more enjoyable and engaging, here are some exciting prompts that will ⁤spark ⁣their ⁣creativity⁢ and⁤ inspire them to express ⁣their opinions⁣ with confidence:

  • If I Could Create a‍ New Rule: ⁢ This ⁢prompt allows students⁢ to​ think‌ outside the box ‍and ⁤imagine a world where they have the power⁤ to ⁢make⁣ a new⁢ rule. They can explore different⁤ aspects of their lives or ⁤society that⁣ they would ⁢like to‌ change and provide strong arguments for⁤ their opinion.
  • The⁤ Best Superpower: In‍ this prompt,⁣ students can let their imagination run wild and discuss what superpower ‌they ‌would choose if given the chance. They can explain ⁤why they believe ⁤that particular superpower would have the greatest positive impact on the world or their own lives.

By⁢ presenting these thrilling ⁣prompts, students will not only have ‍fun⁢ while writing‌ but also develop​ their critical thinking skills. Encourage them to gather evidence, think logically, ​and organize their thoughts effectively. Remember to​ provide opportunities for peer‌ sharing and feedback to⁣ further⁢ enhance their writing abilities. ​With these ‌stimulating prompts, 5th graders will discover ⁤the‌ joy of expressing⁢ their opinions through the ⁤power‌ of⁢ the written word!

Are you‌ a young⁤ and aspiring writer? ‍Do you want to ‌use your writing​ skills to tackle ‍real-world​ issues? Look ⁣no further!‍ Our collection of thought-provoking‍ writing prompts is here to help you immerse ⁣in ⁣the world of ‌critical⁢ thinking and problem-solving.

With these prompts, you can explore a wide​ range‌ of topics, from⁢ climate‌ change and social⁤ inequality to technological advancements‌ and global health ⁣crises. Each ‌prompt is‌ carefully ​designed to make you think ​deeply and reflect⁢ on the consequences of these pressing⁢ issues.

  • Consider the ‌impact of climate change ⁢on your⁣ local⁤ community.
  • Imagine a world without poverty⁤ and brainstorm actionable‌ steps to‍ achieve it.
  • Explore the ethical ‍implications of ⁢artificial ⁤intelligence⁤ in healthcare.
  • Analyze⁢ the⁤ role of social media in shaping public opinion.
  • Discuss​ the challenges faced by ⁣refugees and⁢ propose ways to support⁤ them.

By‌ engaging with these prompts,​ you will sharpen your writing ​skills, ​develop ‌empathy, and gain⁢ a deeper ⁤understanding of the world‌ around you.‍ So grab ⁤a pen,⁤ embrace your creativity, and ⁤let your words be a catalyst ⁣for ⁣change!

7. Nurturing Strong Communication‍ Skills: Opinion Writing Activities‌ and Prompts

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world,​ effective‌ communication is a fundamental skill ⁢that can open numerous⁢ doors ​of opportunity. Opinion writing is a powerful tool‍ to develop‌ and nurture‍ strong communication ‌skills in students. By expressing ⁢their thoughts and ideas on various ​topics, ​students improve‌ their ability to ​articulate‌ opinions and ‍support their arguments‌ with logical reasoning. Here are some creative‌ activities⁣ and prompts that can ‌help foster these skills:

  • Debate Club: Encourage students ‌to ‍engage in lively debates that promote listening, critical thinking, and persuasive speaking. Prompt ⁤them ‌with controversial topics like⁣ “Should homework⁤ be abolished?” or “Is ⁤social media a positive influence?”.‍ This ⁢activity enhances their ability to present a convincing argument while respecting differing⁣ opinions.
  • Opinion ⁤Journals: ⁣Have ‌students maintain opinion journals‍ where ​they⁣ can express their thoughts on current events or personal experiences. It allows⁣ them to reflect ⁤on ⁢their‌ own perspectives, refine⁢ their writing skills, and develop the⁣ habit ‌of effectively communicating their ideas in‌ writing.

Furthermore, ⁢organizing classroom discussions ‍or ⁤mock interviews relating to ‌real-world scenarios can​ significantly‌ enhance students’ ability to ‌express themselves confidently. Assigning opinion-based essays ‌or⁢ asking students to write persuasive letters to support⁣ causes they care about also strengthens their communication skills. ⁢By integrating these engaging‌ activities and prompts ⁤into the‍ curriculum, educators not only nurture strong communication ​skills,‍ but also ‍empower students to become effective ⁢communicators​ who ‍can express their ideas with ⁣clarity, coherence,⁣ and conviction.

8. Enhancing Analytical Thinking: Stimulating Opinion Writing ‍Prompts for 5th​ Graders

Developing ⁣analytical thinking skills is ‌essential ‌in nurturing young minds.⁢ To ⁢bolster this skill set ‍in 5th ⁢graders, it’s‌ crucial to encourage⁢ them ‍to express their opinions in writing.‌ Opinion writing ⁤not only fosters critical thinking, but also enhances creative⁢ thought processes.⁤ Here ‍are some‍ engaging prompts that will get your⁤ 5th graders thinking critically and ‍expressing⁤ their thoughts in a structured manner:

  • Should homework be abolished? ‌ Encourage‌ students⁣ to weigh the ⁣pros and cons of⁣ completing assignments ⁢outside⁣ of‍ the ‍classroom.‌ Urge them ⁣to⁤ provide evidence to support their stance and ‌consider the impact homework has on their​ learning experience.
  • Is it better to⁢ be the oldest or youngest sibling? This⁤ topic sparks lively ⁣discussions⁢ as ⁢students debate the advantages and‌ disadvantages of⁤ each position within the family hierarchy. Prompt them to⁤ consider personal experiences or examples from literature​ or other media.
  • Are school uniforms ​necessary? Explore this classic topic ⁢by encouraging students to critically evaluate the ‍impact of uniforms ⁣on individuality, self-expression, and overall‍ school ​atmosphere.

By engaging 5th graders⁤ in opinion writing ⁣using⁣ these‍ stimulating ⁣prompts, educators can promote analytical⁣ thinking and help⁤ students improve their ability ‌to ⁤articulate their thoughts effectively.​ Encourage them to support their⁤ opinions⁢ with substantial reasoning⁤ and‌ evidence. Remember, exploring diverse perspectives is key ⁢to ⁣honing their ‍analytical skills,​ so encourage ⁤lively debates​ and ‌discussions among your students. Together, let’s nurture⁣ their critical thinking ‌abilities ⁣and foster‌ a love for expressing their thoughts in ⁢writing!

Q: What are opinion writing prompts ⁢for 5th grade? A: ⁢Opinion writing prompts for 5th⁣ grade are thought-provoking questions or statements that encourage young students to express their ‍personal viewpoints on​ various topics.

Q: ⁤Why ⁤are ‍ opinion ‍writing prompts important ‌ for 5th graders? A: Opinion writing prompts play a crucial role in 5th ⁢grade ⁢education ‍as they help‍ develop critical thinking, creative expression, and persuasive ‌writing​ skills. These prompts empower students to form ⁣their own opinions, support them ⁤with⁢ evidence, and communicate their thoughts​ effectively.

Q: How do opinion ‍writing prompts ‌benefit⁣ 5th graders? A: Opinion writing prompts offer a range of benefits to 5th graders, such as improving their articulation​ skills, fostering⁤ their ability to analyze multiple ⁣perspectives, enhancing their ⁣vocabulary and grammar, ​and​ strengthening their overall writing ⁣abilities.‍ These⁢ prompts also encourage students to become⁣ more self-aware and confident in ⁣expressing their ‍unique thoughts.

Q:‍ What types of topics can be covered by opinion‍ writing ‌prompts for 5th graders? A:‍ Opinion writing prompts ⁣for 5th graders​ can cover a ​wide array of ⁣topics, ‍including social issues, personal experiences, ethical dilemmas, ​literature, current events, and more. This diversity allows students to engage with various areas of interest and expands their understanding of the​ world around‍ them.

Q:⁣ How can teachers use opinion ⁤writing‌ prompts effectively‌ in ​the classroom? A: ‌Teachers can ⁤effectively incorporate ‌opinion writing⁣ prompts into their classroom ‌by ​providing clear ⁤instructions and examples, encouraging active ⁢class‌ discussions, providing ample time for ‌brainstorming, and offering guidance through the ‌writing process.​ Additionally, teachers can use prompts⁣ as ⁢an opportunity​ to instill open-mindedness, respect⁤ for differing⁣ opinions, and ‍critical evaluation of arguments.

Q: Can opinion writing prompts enhance students’ critical thinking skills? A: Yes,⁤ opinion writing prompts‍ are an excellent tool‌ for improving critical thinking skills in 5th graders. By presenting ‌prompts ‍that require ‌students to evaluate ​different perspectives, students learn to analyze and integrate⁣ information, consider alternatives,‍ and develop well-reasoned ‍arguments to ​support their ⁤opinions.

Q: Is​ there a recommended format for writing⁣ an opinion essay using these⁣ prompts? A: While there is no strict format‌ for‌ opinion ⁤essays, it is generally suggested to structure⁣ them ​with ⁣an introduction stating the writer’s opinion, body paragraphs ‌explaining⁤ and supporting ⁣their ​viewpoint‍ with evidence, and a‍ conclusion restating the main opinion and summarizing the‌ main arguments.

Q: Are ⁢there⁢ any additional ‍resources available‌ to help 5th graders with ⁤their opinion writing skills? A: ‌Yes,⁣ there are ‌numerous resources available online, including writing ⁢guides,‍ worksheets, and interactive platforms specifically⁣ designed to assist 5th graders‍ in⁢ honing their opinion⁤ writing skills.‌ Teachers, parents, and schools can also provide valuable‌ support by offering feedback and encouragement throughout the writing process.‌

In‍ conclusion, opinion writing prompts ‌for‍ 5th graders offer a valuable opportunity to develop⁤ critical thinking skills and express personal perspectives. By engaging⁤ in‌ this type of writing, students ‍can enhance their communication abilities while learning to value and‍ respect diverse ‍opinions. ⁣

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5th grade nonfiction writing samples

by: Jessica Kelmon | Updated: July 23, 2016

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5th grade writing samples

When it comes to writing, fifth grade is a red-letter year. To prepare for the demands of middle school and high school writing, fifth graders should be mastering skills required for strong nonfiction writing . Learn more about your fifth grader’s writing under Common Core . All students should be learning three styles of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Reports that convey information accurately with facts, details, and supporting information.

Narrative writing

Stories, poems, plays, and other types of fiction that convey a plot, character development, and/or personal stories.

Opinion writing

Writing in which students try to convince readers to accept their opinion about something using reasons and examples.

Fifth grade writing sample #1

Bipolar Children

This student’s report starts with a decorative cover and a table of contents. The report has eight sections, each clearly labeled with a bold subhead, and includes a bibliography. At the end, this student adds three visuals, two images from the internet with handwritten captions and a related, hand-drawn cartoon.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

Fifth grade writing sample #2

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Dylan’s report is thorough and well organized. There’s a cover page, an opening statement, and four clear sections with subheads, including a conclusion. You’ll see from the teacher’s note at the end that the assignment is for an opinion piece, but Dylan clearly writes a strong informational/explanatory piece, which is why it’s included here.

Fifth grade writing sample #3

The Harmful Ways of By-Catch and Overfishing

This student includes facts and examples to inform the reader about by-catch and overfishing. Then, at the end, the student tries to convince the reader to take a personal interest in these topics and gives example of how the reader can take action, too.

Type of writing: Opinion writing

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

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Opinion Writing Anchor Charts for Upper Elementary

January 16, 2021 by Cristy

Looking to support your students with their text-based writing? Opinion writing anchor charts make teaching easier & give students the support needed.

Teaching new writers how to gather evidence and plan for text-based writing can be challenging. Transitioning them over to actually writing the essay where they must weave those ideas into a well developed and organized essay is just as big of a task. Below, are some ways you can use opinion writing anchor charts to give 4th and 5th grade students tangible examples of how to make their writing focused, well-supported, and engaging.

Hooks for introduction paragraphs opinion writing for 4th grade.

1. Opinion Writing Hooks

Once students have a plan of action for their writing, introducing a writing “hook” is a natural place to begin when starting instruction of actually writing the essay.

Start off by explaining that a “hook” captures the reader’s interest and makes them want to continue to read. It should relate to and tightly tie into the topic that will be discussed.

Introduce the four most commonly used (and easiest to use) hooks.

  • Interesting Fact

Introductory paragraphs of opinion writing for 5th grade.

2. Introductory Paragraph

Now that students know how they will start their essay, they are ready to complete their introductory paragraph. For this quick lesson, tell students to start with their hook. Then, specify that writers need to include words from the prompt. This helps the reader know what the paper will be about and also helps the writer stay focused as they write. They can also include a preview to their answers in this paragraph.

how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

3. Introduce the Components of Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are the heart of the essay. This is where the writer needs to provide the reasons they agree or disagree with the prompt. They also need to support their reasons with text evidence and elaborations.   

Many teachers are familiar with the acronym R.A.C.E. as a form of responding to a question. I like to use the acronym T.R.A.C.E. because it reminds the writer to use transitions within the essay and within the paragraphs.

During this step of instruction, it is beneficial to break down the acronym for your students. Introduce what each letter stands for. Explain that this is not a specific formula, but a guide that shows what should be included throughout the paragraph.

As you explain each letter, have students create an anchor chart and color code the text . Later in the writing process, this will help them identify what they are doing well and what they may need to add more of in their paragraphs.

R.A.C.E. can be helpful for body paragraphs of opinion writing.

4. Writing the Body Paragraphs

Now that you’ve discussed the components of a body paragraph and have taught students how to color code each letter, it’s time to model the writing.

Write the first body paragraph along with your students. It is best to write it on the board where they can all see it. Have students copy the sentences as you write them. Think aloud as you write. This will help students understand why you are including and excluding certain information.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and cross words or phrases out. Have students copy a few of these errors too. This will allow them to see that they can change their mind or fix errors.

Once you have completed the paragraph, color code the text. This will allow students to visually see the components of a body paragraph.

R.A.C.E. can be helpful for body paragraphs of opinion writing.

5. Introduce Types of Elaborations

Once students have seen you model a body paragraph, focus on the elaboration within the paragraph.

Introduce the four types of elaborations most frequently used within text-based writing.

  • Definition: tells the meaning of an unfamiliar word
  • Anecdote: a short story inserted into the text
  • Example: provides specific cases, samples, or instances
  • Scenario: a description of a possible event 

Provide Students with Opportunities to Practice

Although this is not a specific step in teaching writing, it is included because it is important to give students multiple opportunities to practice.

Depending on your students, you may want to focus on certain areas of a text-based writing lesson when you offer opportunities to practice. Do not feel the need to have students complete an entire prompt each time they write, especially at the start of the school year. 

Starting off with an overview, then moving on to certain parts before moving on to a complete essay can be a great way to scaffold this process for students. Offering students the opportunity to refer back to their opinion writing anchor charts as they write is also a key component to helping them become proficient writers.

Looking for More Support with Opinion Writing Anchor Charts?

Hopefully, these tips have helped you organize your beginning opinion writing lessons. 

If you would like the opinion writing anchor charts discussed, you can click on the image to take a closer look.

how to write an opinion essay for 5th grade

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Fifth-Grade Essay

How to write a sixth-grade essay.

Essays in the fifth grade should be concise, clear and flow easily. Students need to be able to express their ideas with proper and effective word choice and use a variety of different sentence structures. Logical sequencing of main ideas should be evident throughout the essay. In the fifth grade, students learn to expand and elaborate on their ideas. They are describing and going more in-depth in their writing than in previous grades. Fifth-grade students are exposed to different styles and genres of writing, so their writing will begin to reflect the varied structures and purposes of writing.

Decide on an essay topic. Your teacher may provide an essay topic to explore or you may be able to come up with an idea of your own. Either way, you can decide from what angle you want to approach the topic. Keep the topic focused and narrow. The essay's information should fit easily within the length of the essay assigned by your teacher. Write down various ideas that occur to you as you prepare to write the essay. You can use a graphic organizer such as a cluster map of your thoughts or brainstorming to help you organize your ideas.

Write a thesis statement. The thesis statement is the main idea of the essay and it expresses what you want to tell the reader in one or two sentences.

Research the topic. Keep research within the bounds of the essay's topic so you don't waste time searching for and reading unnecessary material. Take notes of what is important and supports the thesis statement. Also keep track of where each piece of information is found so you can easily cite your sources if the teacher requires it.

Plan the essay. Write an outline that lists each section of the essay, including an introduction, middle and a conclusion. Paragraphs that support the thesis will be in the middle of the essay.

Write a first draft of the essay. The introduction should catch the readers' attention and contain the thesis statement. The middle will contain the information you found and your ideas about it. The conclusion should summarize your main points and tell readers why the topic is important. For example, if you're writing about the history of the Sputnik satellite launch in 1957, you could state in the conclusion that Sputnik helped to begin the space race between the former Soviet Union and the United States and it helped pave the way for the building of the International Space Station that is shared between the two countries today.

Look over your essay and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes. Also pay close attention to how the essay is structured. Each paragraph should contain sentences that express the main idea of the paragraph. The paragraphs in the body should be arranged in a logical order, such as from least to most important or in a step-by-step order if you're writing a how-to essay. Make any changes you think are needed to make your essay clearer and then write out your final version when you are satisfied with it.

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  • Great Schools: Your Fifth Grader and Writing

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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