7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary


7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary

When it comes to teaching writing, I can not live without mentor texts

Any writing genre is brought to life by reading mentor texts that engage students and get them excited to write their own pieces. Opinion writing is no exception. We love referring back to these opinion writing mentor texts throughout our entire opinion writing unit and all year long!

To kick off opinion writing, we discuss the elements found specifically in opinion writing, create opinion writing class anchor charts, and get knee-deep in these opinion writing mentor texts.

Read about each of my favorite opinion writing mentor texts below and grab a FREE opinion writing starter kit to help your students master the art of writing opinion essays. 

Which Would You Rather Be? 

written by William Steig

7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary

Which would YOU rather be, an adult or a kid? Fun thought, right? This book is filled with just simple questions to ask students about which they would rather be. Students will practice answering opinion questions with their own thoughts and supporting reasons through this picture book read-aloud. This also provides great topics that you can assign students or groups of students to respond to in writing like, Which would you rather be, a cat or dog? This is a great one to read to kick off your opinion writing unit.

I Wanna Iguana 

written by Karen Orloff

opinion writing picture books

I Wanna Iguana, written by Karen Kaufman is one in a series of books that brings opinion and persuasive writing to life for kids. Written in a series of short letters between the main character Alex and his mom, this fun read-aloud will have your students rooting for the main character to get that iguana! Each page and short letter from Alex includes a reason he believes his mom should allow him to get a pet iguana. This fun family debate is perfect for any opinion writing, persuasive writing, and debate writing activity in your classroom!

The Perfect Pet 

written by Margie Palatini

7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary

In this book, the main character Elizabeth really wants a pet. She tries to convince her parents to allow her to have a pet using different supporting reasons and examples of why it would be a good thing. The surprise ending will not only make your students giggle but help them to understand how opinion writing and persuasive writing are connected.

Be sure to grab the FREE opinion writing starter kit at the bottom of this post.

Southwest Sunrise 

written by Nikki Grimes

7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary

This easily relatable story tells the tale of a young boy who moves from New York to New Mexico. When he first arrives in his new dwellings he hates New Mexico. As the story continues, and the main character explores all the wonders his new home has to offer, his opinion begins to change. I love reading this book and discussing its powerful message about how we can change our opinions. This book brings up discussions about how we should not form opinions without reasons or support to back up our opinions and about how our opinions can change. Very thought-provoking and a must-read!

Things To Do 

written by Elaine Magliaro

7 Opinion Writing Mentor Texts for Upper Elementary

Things to Do is an amazing collection of poems, each giving the reader an idea or opinion about what you can do as each topic. If you are a bird, you can stretch your wings. If you are an acorn you can tempt a squirrel. If you are rain, you can freckle windowpanes. I love having the students write quick opinion poetry about an object that they love or use each day following a read-aloud of this book. I especially love reading this book to show children that opinions are in many forms of writing, not just opinion writing essays. This is a fun one!

A Fine Fine School 

written by Sharon Creech

opinion writing read alouds

This book is a staple in my classroom! So many reasons to read and reread this book, one of my favorites is to discuss opinion writing and differing opinions. The principal in the book loves the school so much that he adds more days to the school calendar. The teachers and students have a different opinion about adding days to the school week and calendar. Nothing changes until one brave student decides to share her thoughts and opinions (with supporting reasons) with the school principal. This book provides a great opportunity to discuss differing opinions.

Be sure to grab the FREE opinion writing starter kit at the bottom of this post.

Great Kapok Tree 

written by Lynne Cherry

persuasive writing read aloud picture books

Don't just save a reading of The Great Kapok Tree for Earth Day or your favorite rainforest and endangered species project, read this book to explain opinion and persuasive writing to your students! This story illustrates opinion writing in a more subtle way. Each animal that lives in the Great Kapok Tree shares its opinion about why the tree is important and why it should not be chopped down. There are so many follow-up opinion and persuasive writing activities that you can do following a read-aloud of this book, making it the perfect mentor text for every upper elementary classroom.

When it comes to helping students fully grasp the genre of opinion writing, be sure to share mentor texts. They are perfect to read together, find evidence of the genre, and inspire your young writers!

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