Writing Reviews in Style

My favorite writing workshop guru Susan Jones from T.G.I.F. has done it again.  She has made writing workshop the most fun time of the day!

We recently finished our Let's Write an Opinion! unit by none other than... Susan Jones.  We wrote opinions on our favorite seasons, and fruits versus vegetables.  Then we moved on to writing persuasive pieces.  We each wrote a letter to our principal trying to persuade her to see things "our way."  We asked for more recess time (of course), better food in the cafeteria, and even if we could bring our pets to school.

I thought we had a pretty good thing going.  Then Susan went and made life better.  She came out with a unit on Writing Reviews.  Say what?!!

Writing Reviews.

Well of course I just had to have it.

And I'm never letting it go.

We had a blast writing reviews that incorporated opinions and persuasion and just plain FUN!

First we warmed up our opinion writing skills with some taste testing.  We tested blueberries, Cheez-Its, and Oreo cookies.  Out of the three foods, we chose the best and the worst and wrote reasons to back up our opinions.

The Oreo cookies were the most popular.  Shocker!

Diving into the Cheez-Its...

After a few super fun prep activities, we took a look at some sample reviews provided in Susan's unit.  Then we wrote a review of McDonalds as a class.  We went through each step.  The modeling was such a great foundation for my kiddos.

I had each student write down what they wanted to review.  Then I paired up students who either picked the same exact thing to review, or picked something similar (like two smiliar restaurants).  Students brainstormed ideas together and completed their planning page.

When we actually wrote the reviews we, again, took it step-by-step.  First we all wrote our "catchy leads."  Then we all stated our opinions.  After that, we backed up our opinions with reasons.  Finally, we added our "persuasive ending."  Susan Jones has got this down to a science!

Here are some of our final products...

Friendly's - a kid classic!

Big Hero 6 was a popular movie to review in my classroom.  I love how this lil' reviewer gave it only four stars... because it was a bit scary.

This restaurant has crayons and free menus to color on.  What more could you ask for?!

After we completed our reviews, we just had to show off our skills to the upper grades.  We toured some 3rd and 4th grade classrooms to share our work.  My firsties were so proud of their hard work.  The classes we visited were pretty impressed.  The older students were so attentive and encouraging to my young writers.

If you love writing workshop and are looking for a home run, check out Writing Reviews by Susan Jones.  Your firsties will thank you!

(Like that persuasive ending?!  Happy Writing!)

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