Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thank you to Kyp for asking me to be a guest blogger here on Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes. I love this blog!

When I was brainstorming a topic to write about, I was trying to think of something really incredible to and amazing to share. However, my mind kept returning to a simple and effective activity I did with my 2nd graders last week. We are working on opinion writing right now. I was not really interested in writing prompts such as "What is your opinion on...cats?" BORING! That is not my style AT ALL! So instead, we did the following:

Step 1: Play the movie "UP" from 11:19 - 20:16. This is a short nine minute section where Mr. Fredrickson is living alone after his wife dies. The neighborhood around his house has been turned into massive development. He loses his cool when a construction truck knocks over his mailbox and he hits someone with his cane. Right away, "Shady Oaks Retirement Village" is the suggestion for where Mr. Fredrickson should go.

Step 2: Ask your students if they think Mr. Fredrickson should move to Shady Oaks retirement village where he can have someone take care of him, make friends his age, and not be a danger to others, OR if he should continue to live his life on his own. A big part of opinion writing is providing reasons so I gave the students the following worksheet to record their three main reasons for their opinion:

Step 3: Let the kids discuss and debate. I was amazed by some of the philosophical insights from some of my students! One actually said "It is better to be dead than bored" and another responded, "it is better to be bored than dead". I now know which one is more likely to send me away in thirty years :)

Step 4: To practice letter writing skills, the students wrote a letter to Shady Oaks saying if they should go pick up Mr. Fredrickson or if they should leave him alone
This was a fun activity that really helped the students identify their strongest REASONS for an opinion. As faithful readers of Kyp's blog, you can download this opinion writing freebie here. It is a google doc, so no registration needed. Enjoy!
Alyssha Swanson is a 2nd grade teacher at an American School in Spain. She loves looking at teaching through a fresh lens and sharing ideas that are worth sharing. You can visit her Teaching and Tapas Blog or at her Facebook fan page. Check her out!


  1. Very cute! Here is my email address for the giveaway cecil0862@yahoo.com or cbartram@kitcarsonschool.com. Thanks for the chance and have a nice Easter.

  2. Thank you Alyssha! Love tying the movie "Up" into your opinion writing activity!!

  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway!! Happy Easter!

    Melissa Mize

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