Veteran Opinion Writing: Due 10/26

At this point, all students have received some feedback on their Week 1 writing packet. I either marked them as complete or I wrote down what else they need to change or add. Here is a brief overview of some issues many students encounter with the packet. 


All of my teacher examples (mentor text) have to do with a really different theme (field trip rather than a current event/social studies theme). I will do my best to explain it in writing:

  • The reference texts are “research texts” for students to use so that they can add it onto their brainstorming page (under text information), and later on their main reasons page. There are 2 reference texts they will be using: 1) Standing for the Flag (traditional hand over heart etc) 2) Kneeling for the flag (can also include standing and linking arms, we watched some videos of people protesting in this way as well). Since they aren’t ready to conduct their own research in the amount of time I am giving them, I compiled arguments for both sides that we had already discussed in class during social studies. 

  • I made 2 mistakes when printing out the week 1 packet: 1) There is a Zoo and Aquarium reference text that they don’t need – they can rip these 2 pages out. 2) On the page corresponding with Lesson 4 that asks them to write down their main reasons and facts/evidence to support these reasons, it mentions the “field trip”. This is a typo, you can replace “field trip” with “opinion”. 



Purpose of this essay: We are responding to the theme “Why do I stand for my Country’s Flag” as part of the VA essay contest. When I read this prompt, it was very loaded and I wanted to make sure that all students had some background on why some people choose to stand and others don’t. Everything that was recorded on the reference text sheets is what we have already discussed and have researched as a class during social studies, so it is pretty limited due to our time crunch. If your student wants to do more research at home, I encourage it!


What we should have accomplished in Week 1:

  • Form an opinion in response to the prompt: “What should you do when you see the American flag: stand or kneel?”

  • Find evidence from the reference text to support the opinion

  • Pinpoint the audience to determine tone and formality of our essay

  • Explore the elements of an opinion essay that we will need to include in our own. 


What we will accomplish in Week 2 (Week of 10/18): 

  • Lessons 1-2: Create an introduction paragraph with a lead, connecting sentences and a claim. 

  • Lesson 3: Create body paragraphs that support our claim and explain our main reasons for this claim. Transition words are used throughout the paragraph to connect the reasons to the evidence, and link the paragraphs together. 

  • Lesson 4: Create a conclusion that restates the claim, summarizes our main reasons, and has a call to action.

  • Lesson 5: Formal revision with checklist – create a final draft


What we will accomplish in Week 3 (Week of 10/25 – only 2 writing days): 

  • Lesson 1-2 (I am going to combine these): Formal editing (using the checklist) and publishing. It will be typed out (onto the google doc linked below), printed, and attached to the VA form.