Anyways, I am happy to be sitting at home with my AC cranked up to link up with my BBB, Jivey!
We started off the year with opinion writing. Last year I purchased a great resource that I finally was able to use. Included in this resources is a perfect example of one of my favorite essays to write, "My Favorite Restaurant." When teaching opinion writing in earlier years, we used to have the students pick their favorite restaurants and write about them. We would encourage the students to choose local restaurants, rather than chains, and would send the essays to the restaurant. We often received thoughtful letters back and sometimes gift cards. One teacher was even invited to dine with her class for free at the restaurant a child wrote about! I don't know why, but we haven't done that lesson in a few years. This year I hope I can get to it, but right now we are just starting to learn about the genre. We started the lesson by using the prewritten favorite restaurant essay as a mentor text. We then read it together, in partners, and individually. As a class we worked on putting the components of the text into the plan (basically backwards writing). It sounds simple, but was a great first lesson for the kids to see how important a plan can be and how it is actually the frame of a good essay!