Fidget Spinner Opinion Writing Prompt with Mentor Texts: Should Fidget Spinners be Banned from Schools?
Are you looking for evidence-based opinion writing? With this resource, students use information from three different passages
to write an organized, argumentative essay. Please note that this writing prompt is just part of my growing bundle. Click HERE
to get a year's worth of writing prompts, including this one, at a discount price!
Nowadays, there is a noticeable difference in how students are expected to write their essays on the standardized writing test. Many standardized tests, such as SAGE in Utah, PARCC in New Jersey, and FSA in Florida, require the students to read/listen to multiple texts and then use information from those passages in their writing. According to the SAGE rubric, students are expected to write essays that are well-organized (this includes writing strong introductions and conclusions), incorporate text evidence, elaborate on their details (this includes using domain-specific vocabulary), and use proper grammar/spelling. This product provides many resources to help you prepare students for the state writing test!
To prepare my students for the SAGE test, I don’t hesitate to get them started. From the very beginning, my students are given writing prompts with mentor texts. We practice annotating the texts, and then we practice using that information to write a well-organized, 5-paragraph essay. To write these essays, I use the writing process. It typically takes me three weeks to get through one writing prompt with the students, especially at the beginning of the year. This product includes day-to-day instructions on how I use the writing process and this writing prompt with my students. This writing prompt comes with three engaging passages. Please click the preview to see if the passages are at an appropriate level for your students.
During the spring of 2017, an inexpensive gadget called a fidget spinner quickly emerged and became very popular amongst kids. Fidget spinners are advertised as helpful, yet many schools have banned them. Write an essay where you give your opinion. Should fidget spinners be banned from schools? Your opinion must be based on ideas and information that can be found in the passages. Manage your time carefully so you can plan, write, revise, and edit your essay.
THE MENTOR TEXTS
This product comes with three unique mentor texts written by me. All three passages are informational texts about fidget spinners.
Passage #1: The first passage explains what fidget spinners are. It even explains that they are made with a ball bearing in the middle. It also explains that there is a variety of fidget spinners. Not a lot of information from this passage will be used in the students' essays, but I included this passage because I wanted to explain what fidget spinners are for any students that don't know a lot about them. That way they have the schema necessary to write a successful essay.
Passage #2: Since fidget spinners are often advertised as being helpful for children with ADHD and autism, I wanted to make sure that the students writing this essay understand what these conditions are. That's what this passage is for. It explains what ADHD and autism are and how fidget spinners might be helpful for these students.
Passage #3: The biggest controversy when it comes to fidget spinners is the fact that they are being banned from schools. This passage explains why they are being banned and how people are reacting. This passage includes a bullet list for both sides. It explains reasons for banning fidget spinners, and reasons for keeping fidget spinners in school. A lot of the information from this passage will be used in their essays.
***In all three passages, the paragraphs are numbered and there's a glossary at the end. (Just like the SAGE test in Utah)***
This product has quite a few extras! If you buy this product, you will not only be getting a prompt and three mentor texts, but you will also be getting the following: (please click the preview, where I have posted EVERY SINGLE PAGE of this product):
•Day-to-day instructions that explain what I do with the students for 14 days
•4 different rubrics to choose from (I’ve taken information from the SAGE rubric and turned it into one that is more student-friendly and teacher-friendly.)
•Brief descriptions of each rubric so that you can know which one you want to use.
•A schedule that outlines what the students will be doing for the next 3 weeks (the rubric and schedule are things I show the students before we begin writing our essays so they know what is expected of them, how long it will take, and how to be successful.)
•A checklist that the students can use while they write their essays to make sure they are including everything that their essay needs
•Two different graphic organizers to choose from (one is completely blank, while the other one has fill in the blanks to help those who struggle with writing)
•Alternative graphic organizers that are decorative (they write their reasons in a fidget spinner.)
•Many different types of rough draft paper that you can choose from. (My favorite rough draft paper is the one that has ARMS at the bottom. Many teachers like to use the acronym ARMS when revising with their students.)
•An ARMS handout
•Peer Editing Sheets (I love using these! Instead of having students write all over each others’ papers with red pens, they look for certain criteria, fill out the form, and give feedback)
•Two sample graphic organizers, one for each side, that has been filled in by me
•Two sample final drafts, one for each side, that meet all the requirements to get a really good score on the SAGE test (both of them are written by me)
•Decorative lined paper that the students can write their final drafts on
•Decorative title pages (the students can use these as a cover for their final drafts.)
•A note that can be sent home to parents to announce the completion of their essays and the sharing party that will take place in class
At the end of previous school years, many of my students expressed phrases such as, “Mrs. Lott, thank you for teaching me how to write an essay,” “I like writing now,” “I finally get how to write an essay,” and “I’m not as worried to take the SAGE test because I know what I’m doing.” These comments, of course, brought tears to my eyes. That’s what teaching is all about. Then seeing their SAGE scores brought even more tears to my eyes. All students improved and almost all scored between 400-500, which is proficient. I even had several students score over 500!! :)
Please note that this product does not teach students how to write an essay. The intent of this product is to provide an outline and description of what I do for 3 weeks and the resources I use to do it. If you are interested in how I teach my students to write, follow me on TPT and stay tuned. It is my goal to make product(s) that you can use to teach students how to write very soon!
This product is aligned with the following 4th grade writing standards:
You might also be interested in:
A HUGE Rocks and Minerals Unit.
It is a complete unit that has everything you would need to teach 3 weeks-worth of material.
Cloud Readers’ Theater.
I love using these script every time I teach weather! They help the students remember how a cloud is formed and the four main types of clouds (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and cumulonimbus.)
Types of Sentences Zombie Scoot Activity.
This is a fun activity that can be used to review the types of sentences during the month of October.
Don't forget that you can get TPT credit just by leaving feedback!
Please go to your My Purchases page (you may need to login). Beside each purchase you'll see a Provide Feedback button. Simply click it and you will be taken to a page where you can give a quick rating and leave a short comment for the product. Each time you give feedback, TPT gives you credits that you use to lower the cost of your future purchases. TPT will round up for you too! If you provide feedback on a $4.75, you will earn 5 credits. Every 100 credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future TPT purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. ☺
Be the first to know about my new products, discounts, and freebies by following me on TPT! Look for the green star next to my store logo and click it to become a follower. There you have it! You will receive email updates about my store. ☺
© Lotts of Learning 2017