Introduction to the 5 Paragraph Opinion Essay

5 Paragraph Opinion Essay

This lesson plan is designed to delve into the art of opinion essay writing, a crucial skill in both academic and real-world contexts. By examining a grade 9 example of an opinion essay, students will embark on a journey to understand the intricate balance of presenting personal viewpoints with compelling evidence and logical reasoning. The core of this lesson lies in the application of the PEEL (Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link) method, a structured approach to crafting persuasive and coherent paragraphs. Students will engage in an interactive exercise using various highlighter colors or methods to dissect and analyze the components of each body paragraph in the provided essay example. This hands-on activity not only reinforces their understanding of the PEEL structure but also hones their analytical skills.

The lesson further evolves as students brainstorm and select topics for their opinion essays, laying the groundwork for effective writing. They will start outlining their ideas and gathering relevant information, a process that nurtures their critical thinking and research skills. This lesson aims to equip students with the tools to articulate their opinions confidently and persuasively, backed by strong evidence and clear explanations. By the end of this session, students will not only have a deeper appreciation of the opinion essay format but also be well on their way to becoming proficient writers who can convincingly express their viewpoints on a variety of topics.

Learning Goals

  • I will be able to define what an essay is, including its basic structure and components.
  • I will be able to brainstorm or select suitable topics for an opinion essay and start outlining ideas.
  • I will be able to collect and organize information relevant to my chosen topic.

Materials

Process

  1. Define essay
  2. Read through the grade 9 example opinion essay
  3. Using 4 different highlighter colors or 4 different ways to highlight text, have students pick out the Points, Evidence, Explanations, and Links in each body paragraph. Need a refresher on PEEL paragraph, or need to teach students paragraph writing? Then start here: Writing Powerful PEEL Paragraphs with Resources
  4. Brainstorm or provide topics for students
  5. Start outlining an idea and collecting information

What is an Opinion Essay?

An opinion essay is a type of written work in which the writer expresses their personal opinion on a specific topic, supported by reasons and examples. This type of essay is subjective, as it reflects the writer’s viewpoint, and it’s typically structured in a clear, logical manner. 

Since this is (perhaps) the first essay we’ve ever written, we are going to create a 5 paragraph essay.

Grade 9 Student Example

While the following essay isn’t perfect, it is an example of an achievable essay for every student. There is a clear introduction and thesis. Each body paragraph contains a point, evidence, explanation, and link (PEEL). There is a strong conclusion. The student used the MLA format correctly.

Opinion Essay Outline

Use the following outline to help organize your thoughts.

Topic: __________________________________________

Introduction:

Introductory Statement: 

Linking Sentence: 

Thesis:

Paragraph 1

Point sentence: 

Evidence: 

Explanation: 

Link: 

Research notes & links:  

Paragraph 2

Point sentence: 

Evidence: 

Explanation: 

Link: 

Research notes & links:  

Paragraph 3

Point sentence: 

Evidence: 

Explanation: 

Link: 

Research notes & links:  

Conclusion

Restate Thesis: 

Linking Sentence: 

Concluding Statement: 

Link: 

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