5 Best Lessons on Constructed Response
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5 Best Lessons on Constructed Response

Opinion Writing- Grade 4 - Cats

Cats Informational Sample Image
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Grade 4 Opinion Writing

Feedback for Improvement

Topic:  Cats
Main Idea #1:  Well Behaved
Main Idea #2:  Easy to care for

What worked:

  • Organization:  This piece includes an introduction, two main ideas and a conclusion.

  • Main Idea Sentences:  The student includes a main idea sentence for each main idea paragraph.

  • Conclusion:  Conclusion that restates each main idea.

Feedback with Prescriptive Lesson:

CHOOSE a Focus Skill: What skill will make the biggest impact for this writer?

Broad Yet Distinct Main Idea: Lessons on how to create interesting main idea sentences will greatly enhance the piece. In addition, the word “cats” is over used which creates a boring, repetitive tone. Lessons on word referents will help to alleviate this redundant nature. 

  • Section 2 Lesson 10: Alternatives to Boring, Redundant Main Idea/Reason Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 11: Revising Boring, Redundant Main Idea Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 15: Word Referents

Elaboration:  Student needs to use productive questions to elaborate details:  What does it look like?  Why is it important? 

  • Section 3 Lesson 1:  Just Okay...or Much Better? (recognition and awareness)
  • Section 3 Lesson 2:  Grab Bag (oral introduction to the skill)
  • Section 3 Lesson 4:  Writing Sentences Using Detail Generating Questions

Introductions:  This piece needs an effective lead. 

  • Section 5 Lesson 1 Leads and Topic Sentences
  • Section 5 Lesson 2 Writing an Attention-Grabbing Lead

Conclusions:  The student needs to be made aware of alternatives for a successful conclusion instead of a reiteration of the three main ideas. Teacher background pages on menu of techniques or strategies of effective conclusions is essential.

  • Section 5 Lesson 10: The Hypothetical Anecdote

Author’s Group Revision Model - Taking this piece and projecting it for revision practice with the whole class would be a great way to model how to apply the detail generating questions. Use paragraph 3 or 4 for this purpose.

This student obviously understands the structure of Informational writing but needs direct instruction in elaboration using detail generating questions.  Awareness of extraneous information that does not belong is essential for this piece. (2nd paragraph)

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Download “Cats" - Opinion Writing - Grade 4

Topics:Student Writing SamplesOpinion Writing