Are you looking for some engaging authentic opinion writing mentor texts to help get your students formulating and writing their opinion? Below are my 10 favorite opinion writing mentor texts to pair with fun projects or prompts for your classroom.
1. Mentor Text 1: Hey, Little Ant
This classic text is a great way to engage students in a thoughtful debate on whether or not we should squish ants. Typically, I will read this book aloud to my kiddos, then we will make a T chart on the board debating whether or not the boy/we should squish an ant. In the T chart, we lists reasons for why and why not we should or should not squish them.
Kids love this opinion project and get extremely into it! You can grab this resource for any k-3 classroom on Teachers Pay Teachers.
2. Mentor Text 2: Duck! Rabbit!
Is it a rabbit? Is it a duck? Do you like rabbits more? Do you like ducks more? The opportunities for places to take this book are endless. This book explores the classic debate of duck vs. rabbit, but also gives students context to form their opinion.
Alternatively, students might struggle to find enough reasons to complete their own argument. Therefore, you might change the debate to IS IT a rabbit or duck, to which is better, a rabbit or a duck?
3. Mentor Text 3: I Wanna Iguana
You WANNA add this book to your library. I promise! The boy in this book is writing letters to his mom persuading her why he needs an iguana. The mom writes back some pretty persuasive reasons why NOT. I love to use this text to launch into a letter writing unit in which we ask mom/dad/someone at home for something we have been wanting lately. It could be a pet, a toy, a vacation, etc.
Students LOVE this activity. You can grab the entire activity all planned out on Teachers Pay Teachers.
4. Mentor Text 4: I Wanna New Room
Similar to I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room is another book by the same author. In this text, he is asking for a new room. I like to piggy back this text off I Wanna Iguana by having students plan the “perfect” room, then asking their students for the room.
We use the same activity as above, but reformat it a little to fit this book instead of I Wanna Iguana.
5. Mentor Text 5: The Best Part of Me
This powerful text looks at real life photographs of kids and details WHY they believe this body part is the best part of them. I love how serious this book is, but also the internal reflection that students have when they look at their own bodies and pick a part that they think is the best part of them.
You can grab a DIGITAL writing project for your students on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
6. Mentor Text 6: Dog vs. Cat
This funny mentor text highlights a dispute between a cat and a dog who are dividing up the house. Kids are sure to laugh when you read this aloud. There are two ways I use this book in my classroom. I will read almost the whole book, but not the end, then ask students to pick who they think is right and defend that animal.
Another way to use this book is to simply have students pick: do they like cats more or dogs more? Why is that? You can use this fun template to help your class get writing!
7. Mentor Text 7: The Day the Crayons Quit
Talk about some powerful models! Each page of this book is written from a different colored crayons’ point of a view. The crayons are upset that they’re being overused, underused, mistreated, forgotten… you name it! One way I love to use this text in my classroom is to have students pick their favorite color and defend why. Another way you can use it is to have your students write BACK to their crayon box, explaining why they are in fact using the crayons correctly. Either way, this book is sure to bring some smiles to your littles.
8. Mentor Text 8: The Perfect Pet
What animal do you think would make the perfect pet? This book follows Elizabeth, who is on the hunt for a perfect pet. She finally finds one… in a bug! I love to use this to have students write about what they think the perfect pet is, and why that animal is the perfect pet. I encourage them to pick strange animals.. such as a giraffe, an elephant or a lion, and to come up with convincing reasons that these animals would make great pets.
9. Mentor Text 9: What if You Had Animal Feet?
Similar to writing about the best pet.. if you could change your feet to any animal feet, what would you have, and why? This informative text teaches all about different feet animals have and what those feet can help the animals do. I then have students pick which animal feet they think are the BEST and write about why those feet are better than their feet and all of the other animals’ feet.
10. Mentor Text 10: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Should the pigeon be allowed behind the wheel?! That is for your class to decide. If your class hasn’t checked these books out yet, what are you waiting for?! These engaging texts are a fun way to get students interacting with your read alouds while also forming their opinion about pigeon. We tell him no… but why are we telling him that? Do we have an actual reason? Let your students decide if this crazy pigeon should be behind the wheel or not!
What are your favorite opinion writing mentor texts? Drop them in the comments below so we can all check it out!
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