Looking for ways to teach opinion writing in Kindergarten? We’ve got a step-by-step process that gets your Kinders expressing their opinions in no time. Includes a free printable to download for your class.
This activity works well with:
I think we all know that Kinders have opinions about almost everything. They will tell you exactly how they feel about something at the drop of a hat. There are times when I wish I felt that free. It is our job as teachers to channel that natural inclination. We get to teach them how to write opinions and express a point of view.
Learning to write persuasively about an opinion is something that students need to do. Firstly, children need to learn that their words matter and what they have to say is important. Each person’s opinion matters can become a mantra of sorts. Most importantly, teaching them to express an opinion is a skill that will last for a lifetime.
Opinion Writing In Kindergarten
At the Kindergarten level, students must express an opinion (or preference) about given topics or books. They will use a combination of drawing, dictations, and writing to do this. In essence, we ask them to
- Reflect on a topic and form an opinion. (What do they think?).
- Find a reason to back up their thoughts. (Why do they think that?)
- Draw and write those opinions. (Tell others what they think.)
While Kinders may find it easy to express their opinions verbally, it is another thing to write them. So, we will outline a 4-step process to get you from one point to the other.
What is Opinion Writing?
Opinion writing gives students the opportunity to express a preference. Also, give a reason for holding it. They will eventually learn that they need to support their opinions with facts. But for now, we are just trying to get them to express themselves coherently.
We also start to introduce the vocabulary of opinion writing. As we use words and phrases such as the best, I think, I prefer, and because.
How Do You Teach Opinion Writing in Kindergarten?
When teaching opinion writing in Kindergarten, you need to go step by step!
We start by giving our students plenty of opportunities to express their opinions.
Question of the day
First off, you could ask the question of the day. Questions like
- What is the best thing to do on a snowy day?
- Which kind of hat should go on top of the snowman?
- Do you prefer hot chocolate with or without marshmallows?
- What is your favorite book?
The other approach you can take is to make a statement like, “ Skating is the best thing to do in the winter!” Invite your students to tell you if they agree (or not). Invite them to give a reason for their opinion, but don’t worry if they are unable to do so at first.
Enjoy the discussions that ensue. As an aside, it might be fun to record the answers and create graphs.
Using books as a springboard
Secondly, when you are reading a story ask for their opinion about a character’s actions or feelings. Ask them what they would do if they were that character.
Teacher tip: Try to refrain from agreeing or refuting your student’s arguments at this stage. We want to encourage them to get comfortable about expressing their opinions.
It can be helpful to read books in which opinions are stated. Then provide students with the chance to respond. Here are a few suggestions
Teacher Tip: Explain to your students that every person has an opinion, but we may not all agree. We all like different things and that is okay. Everyone’s opinion matters.
Moving From Talking to Writing
Hopefully, students will become comfortable about expressing their opinions. Then you can start teaching them to write those opinions.
With this in mind, we have created a free printable that will help you take this process step by step. You are going to want to download that now.
What is in the Free Printable?
All the worksheets in this printable revolve around one question. What is the best thing to do on the weekend?
The first page is a simple exercise. It invites students to choose between two options and color in the one that they choose. Emphasize that there are no right answers here. They must decide between two choices.
The second page invites students to do some brainstorming. They must choose three activities they like to do on the weekend. Then write about and draw these activities. If you wish, you can have a brainstorming session with the whole class. Create a list of students’ favorite weekend activities. Display them where everyone can see them so that everyone can use them as an idea bank.
The third page gives Kinders to chance to pick a favorite activity. Then think about the reason for that preference. It might be helpful to go through the exercise yourself and model the thinking process.
“In my opinion, climbing trees is the best thing to do on the weekend, because you see a long way when you get high.”
You can also think of some reasons as a class. This allows students to share ideas and is helpful for those who struggle to do it.
Finally, when they are ready, they can write the final draft using the fourth page. On this page, they will answer the question and give a reason for their preference.
If you wish, you can use the finished pages for a bulletin board display or gather them into a class book.
Connecting with the Common Core Standards
If you use the Common Core, these worksheets cover the following standards
- Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is…).
- With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
- Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
- Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.