Teaching with Dessert: Oreo Writing Workshop

*Admission: This is actually a post from almost a month ago… apparently I forgot to finish it until now.*

Within the last week, I’ve taught persuasive writing using Oreos, author’s purpose with pie, and character descriptions with ‘If You Give A Pig A Pancake’ and ‘If You Give A Cat A Cupcake’.  To make matters worse, lessons on cyclical stories, cause and effect, and sequence of events using ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ are all on the schedule for this week as well.  I think I’m setting a bad example for the children… and I must be craving sugar, at least a little.
It all worked out very well though — the students learned the concepts and we had fun doing it.  AND … my fifth graders had apple pie for the first time.

OREO WRITING — Using this fabulous packet from TeachersPayTeachers

One of the standards for 1st grade is to write and support an opinion.  Since we have also been working hard on using graphic organizers, starting with a graphic organizer seemed like a good idea.  This will transition well into paragraph writing.

— Opener: Started the lesson by reviewing the lesson vocabulary (necessary background knowledge — opinions, likes, dislikes, etc.).  I also previewed the video clip by explaining the acting in the commercial.  Then, I played this OREO commercial.

— Instruction: Discuss the importance of giving reasons and examples for our opinions.  With idea webs, the students and I brainstormed reasons to support the argument that the cookie or the cream part of the OREO was the best.  Using the graphic organizer from the TpT packet (link above), We co-wrote a paragraph to argue for a certain part of the cookie.  The graphic organizer itself relates to the OREO — Opinion, Reason, Example, Opinion

Practice: To narrow down topics, we brainstormed a list of superhero powers (6) for possible writing topics.  Using the graphic organizer (fill-in-the-blank), I wrote a persuasive argument for my favorite superpower, giving reasons and examples.  The students then filled out a lined graphic organizer for their favorite superpower (with assistance).  (And we ate our choice of vanilla or chocolate OREOS while working — win!)  Students could then transfer the writing from their organizer to lined writing paper and illustrate.

Early finishers: If a student finished early, they found a partner to compare opinions and reasons.

Reflecting on Lesson: As a whole group, the students compared opinions and their reasons.  All students who wanted were able to bring their paper to the front of the class and read their persuasive writing to the class.

Every one of my 1st graders volunteered to read their opinions and reasons.

That’s the best of all.

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