I created this lesson for students in grades 7-12, but it would be appropriate for small groups in lower grades.
It is a no-frills lesson, designed to enable students to:
1. Rate opinions in order from strongest to weakest.
2. Pay attention to key words and qualifiers involved in evaluating opinions.
3. Consider the difficulty or ease with which an opinion can be supported or a thesis proven.
4. Differentiate between opposing opinions, sorting sentences into appropriate viewpoints.
5. Recognize the persuasive nature of a thesis sentence, later used in essay organization.
6. Order sentences logically to produce a coherent persuasive paragraph.
The opinions in this activity discuss the value of owning a pet and whether or not fast food is a good idea. Both topics should easily engage students.