Wrapping up our series all about opinion writing is a post all about conclusions. How can you teach students to write a strong conclusion statement after they have written their opinion paragraph? Here are a few ways we have practiced writing a concluding statement.
This blog post focuses only on writing a conclusion statement for opinion writing. I also have blog posts that focus on teaching other aspects of opinion writing:
Explicitly teach what a conclusion is and how to write it
Just like teaching introductions, conclusions need to be explicitly taught. Start with an anchor chart where you explain why an opinion piece of writing needs a strong conclusion and how it gives the reader a sense of closure.
Note that a conclusion is not like an introduction. An introduction generally doesn’t state the opinion whereas a conclusion will re-state the opinion. The conclusion is more closely aligned with the opinion statement, not the introduction. Making this connection with students can be helpful.
Use picture books and samples to generate ideas
Identify the conclusion statement in a text and record it on the chart paper. Like you did with introductions, have a discussion about whether the conclusion statement is weak or strong. If it is weak, what could be improved? If you have introduced students to types of conclusion statements, consider recording the statements from picture books into a specific category or organizational system you have set up.
FREE DIGITAL ANCHOR CHART OF PICTURE BOOKS
Would you like a free digital anchor chart of the picture books in this blog post? Click the image below and sign up to receive a link to copy this fully-editable Google Slides file. Use it as a starting point to create your own classroom anchor chart for opinion writing.
Consider organizing the conclusion statements
After you have started generating a list of conclusion statements, consider categorizing them. This can be done in a couple of different ways. One, you can tell students the categories and have students sort the statements in the category that best fits. Two you can do an open sort and have students sort the conclusion statements into groups and then determine a category for that group.
Whether you do an open sort or a closed sort, adding a label to the type of conclusion statement helps students deepen and solidify their understanding of the concept.
Some categories you or your students might come up with include:
- Repeating the opinion statement
- Offering a suggestion for the reader
- Giving another related fact
- Sharing a personal experience with the topic
These are just several ideas of categories. I’m sure your students can come up with more!
Give Students Sentence Frames to Use when Writing a Conclusion Statement
Here are some examples of sentence frames that help students write a solid conclusion statement:
- To wrap it all up, ___ is ___.
- Now you know why ___ is __.
- I hope you’ll agree with them that __ is __.
Practice using the sentence frames in a variety of contexts
The post about how to solidify students understanding of opinion writing has many examples of cooperative learning strategies that can be used throughout this unit. The key idea is that students practice saying a conclusion statement and writing it in many different contexts and with many different topics. The more practice students have with the skill, the more likely they are to succeed with it.
Opinion Writing Unit
More Opinion Writing Blog Posts
Would you like to read more about how to teach opinion writing in the classroom? Take a look at these blog posts.