Monday, March 14, 2016

Dog Days Literacy 4: Opinion Writng

Photo by Z is for Zebra; Digital Papers by Connie Prince & Trixie Scraps.
Students are opinionated! Sometimes it's exasperating, and at other times it's great fun to listen to what they have to say. 

Since students are so naturally full of opinions, I always enjoy teaching opinion writing. Today, I'm sharing some tips, ideas, and resources that will get students writing about dog-themed topics. 

Adopt or Shop?
Each year, my students spend some time researching dog adoption. They also read passages about purchasing purebred dogs from breeders. You can grab the passages by clicking here.

Once we've read both passages, we create pro/con lists for each viewpoint.

After we've created pro/con lists, I like to share some videos. We do a "first watch" where we get the "gist" of the video. Then, we watch it again, pausing to discuss the content and add to our pro/con lists.

The following video shares reasons why adopting a pet is safe, while also being beneficial to families and the dogs they take home with them.

The image below is a screenshot from a video produced by The American Kennel Club. There is also a brief article about hypoallergenic dog breeds. I show this video to demonstrate that there are times someone may need to acquire a dog with special characteristics that may not be available through a shelter.

Related Resources
Tracy Tegeler of Creekside Teacher Tales has created a wonderful resource related to dog adoption. My students greatly enjoy using her materials each year. Although this is primarily a reading resource, students do need to closely read text to match dogs with owners. Then, students write a letter to the chosen owners explaining why they were chosen using details from the text. Click here to find this resource in Tracy's store.

Other dog-related opinion topics:
  • Some places allow pet dogs to accompany their people on patios and in other outside dining areas. Do you think this should be allowed? Why or why not? 
  • Students could read about several different dog breeds using online resources, then write about which breed would be the best for their family. The website Puppies N' Dogs has information about MANY different dog breeds and includes photographs. 
  • Dogo News has a free article for kids titled Cable Television Goes to the Dogs - No, Really!.  You could ask your students to write an opinion piece about whether or not subscribing to DogTV would be worthwhile.
  • There's always the tried-and-true persuasive letter to parents asking for a puppy!
    Thank you for stopping by. If you missed the last three Dog Days Literacy Posts, you can go to them by clicking on the links below. Each post includes links to great resources and freebies.

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