Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Opinion Writing about Eating Bugs! Yum!



Do you like eating bugs? Would you want to eat bugs? This was my topic of conversation with my students on Friday. As you can imagine, it caught their attention! :)  Let me explain...

Some of the other fourth grade teachers and Amanda and I all subscribe to a Scholastic Magazine called Storyworks. This is our first year using this particular magazine, and we all LOVE it! Each issue is filled with high interest fiction, nonfiction, drama and much more! Well, on the back cover of the November/December issue (yes, I'm a lil behind...) there is an infographic of a person's mouth eating a grasshopper! Yum or Ick!?!


As soon as I passed the magazines out, I heard "Ewwwww and Ugghhhhhhh and What?!" They were immediately engaged. I said let's start there on the back cover. We read and analyzed the infographic (an informational graphic) together. It explained all of the "pros" for eating bugs. The students and I were fascinated...it sparked great discussion. 

So, then I told them that they were going to work in a group to write me a letter convincing me to start eating bugs....not an easy task! Of course being the clever fourth graders that they are, they added, "If we really convince you, will YOU eat a bug?!" Ummmmmm....no......but they still had a fun time trying!  :)

Here is an example of their opinion writing letter:


As the groups read their letters aloud, I recorded their reasons on chart paper. And just to get another perspective, I let one group convince me NOT to eat bugs. This was great practice on analyzing both sides of an issue. I recorded those responses too, and then we took a poll. Turns out, most of the class would NOT eat bugs unless they HAD to...I think I am with them....   :)


I loved this lesson because it TRULY engaged my students in opinion writing and it got them thinking! 
Do you have any fun lessons you do for opionion writing? I would love to hear some ideas!  :)

And since I have never done bug writing before, I am linking up with my sweet friend Holly for her Tried it Tuesday. Please be sure to check out her Linky. I am headed there now to browse all the great ideas!  



Happy Tuesday!
-Stacia  :)

7 comments:

  1. Love this- especially your chart! It's great to see the different sides to a stance and use those for reasons to support our opinion. We are nearing the end for our opinion writing unit and I wish we had time to do another similar to yours! Oh well- there's always next year! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love that idea! I had been looking at the Storyworks and wasn't 100% sure. It looks like it really aligns to Common Core well though. Do you think it does?

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  3. Oh....you have to check out Christy's post at Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road. She just wrote about this same topic last week. I shared her Thinglink with my kids and they loved it! Well maybe the boys more than the girls, but still...
    Here's her post: http://teaching-in-oz.blogspot.com/2014/01/back-to-schooleventually-new-app.html
    I love that you had the kids try to persuade you to eat a bug. No way would I ever try it...not even on a dare. Lol!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  4. What a fantastic topic for opinion writing! Fourth graders love anything with a gross factor! Haha!! I have wondered about Storyworks and would need to look into that. Your post has me thinking about what articles I might have on hand for an opinion writing lesson. Thanks for linking up! :)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  5. I love this! My third grade student teaching classroom would have got nut for this! On a field trip to Seattle, one student purchased a few boxes of flavored crickets and it was a huge debate between students about whether to eat them or not.

    I was on the pro-eatting-bugs-side. A few kiddos just about fainted when I popped a bacon flavored cricket in my mouth. :)

    Kayla
    Rooting for Third Grade
    crei9070@vandals.uidaho.edu

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  6. Love this writing activity - what a great way to totally engage your students! I too was thinking about getting the Storyworks magazine (I even printed off the number to call about half-year subsription since it is soooo late). Do you get a class set or do they read with partners?

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  7. Oh my gosh! This is fantastic and disgusting all at the same time!! I bet this was super engaging!! Eww...I totally can't imagine eating a bug! Yuk!

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