Cats or Dogs Opinion Writing Prompt with Mentor Texts: Are you looking for resources to help you teach evidence-based opinion writing to your students? This product might be just what you’re looking for. Please note that this writing prompt is just part of my growing bundle. Click HERE to get more writing prompts just like this but at a discount price!
Nowadays, there is a noticeable difference in how students are expected to write their essays on the standardized writing test. Many standardized tests, such as SAGE in Utah, PARCC in New Jersey, and FSA in Florida, require the students to read/listen to multiple texts and then use information from those passages in their writing.
According to the SAGE rubric, students are expected to write essays that are well-organized (this includes writing strong introductions and conclusions), incorporate text evidence, elaborate on their details (this includes using domain-specific vocabulary), and use proper grammar/spelling. This product provides many resources to help you do just that!
To prepare my students for the SAGE test, I don’t hesitate to get them started. From the very beginning, my students are given writing prompts with mentor texts. We practice annotating the text and then we practice using that information to write a well-organized, 5-paragraph essay. Writing these essays take a long time to write, especially at the beginning of the year. It typically takes me three weeks to get through one writing prompt with the students. This product includes both a prompt and mentor texts that are great for getting the students started.
Two very popular pets in America are cats and dogs. Some people prefer an enthusiastic, loyal dog, while others prefer a playful, cuddly cat. The war between which pet is better, a cat or a dog, is fierce and will probably never end. Which animal do you think is a better pet, a cat or a dog? Write an essay giving your opinion. Your essay must use information from both passages.
THE MENTOR TEXTS
One passage is about how great cats are while the other passage is about how wonderful dogs are (both are written by me.) In each passage, the paragraphs are numbered and include a glossary (just like on the SAGE test.) The numbered paragraphs can be used for citing their text evidence. The glossary is so that students can include domain-specific vocabulary. I have also included my name as the author of each passage so that students can refer to my name when citing their evidence.
This product has quite a few extras! If you buy this product, you will not only be getting a prompt and two mentor texts, but you will also be getting the following: (please click the preview, where I have posted EVERY SINGLE PAGE of this product):
•Day-to-day instructions that explain what I do with the students for 14 days
•4 different rubrics to choose from (I’ve taken information from the SAGE rubric and turned it into one that, I think, is more student-friendly and teacher friendly.)
•Descriptions of each rubric so that you can know which one you want to use (or you can use the rubrics to give you inspiration for making your own rubric.)
•A schedule that outlines what the students will be doing for the next 3 weeks (the rubric and schedule are things you should be showing the students before you begin writing essays.)
•A checklist that the students can use while they write their essays to make sure they are including everything that their essay needs
•Two different graphic organizers to choose from (one is completely blank, while the other one has fill in the blanks to help those who struggle with writing)
•Three different types of rough draft paper that you can choose from (the rough draft paper has big spaces in between the lines so that there is plenty of room for you to edit and write comments
•Peer Editing Sheets (I love using these! Instead of having students write all over each others’ papers with red pens, they look for certain criteria and give feedback)
•Sample graphic organizers that have been filled in for both sides
•Sample final drafts for both sides (written by me)
•Cutesy lined paper that the students can write their final drafts on
•A note that can be sent home to parents to announce the completion of their essays and the sharing party that will take place in class
At the end of previous school years, many of my students expressed phrases such as, “Mrs. Lott, thank you for teaching me how to write an essay,” “I like writing now,” “I finally get how to write an essay,” and “I’m not as worried to take the SAGE test because I know what I’m doing.” These comments, of course, brought tears to my eyes. That’s what teaching is all about. Then seeing their SAGE scores brought even more tears to my eyes. All students improved and almost all scored between 400-500, which is proficient.
This product is aligned with the following 4th grade writing standards:
Please note that this product does not teach students how to write an essay. The intent of this product is to provide an outline & description of what I do for 3 weeks and the resources I use to do it. If you are interested in how I teach my students to write, follow me on TPT and stay tuned. It is my goal to make product(s) that you can use to teach students how to write very soon!
You might also be interested in:
A HUGE Rocks and Minerals Unit. It is a complete unit that has everything you would need to teach 3 weeks-worth of material.
Cloud Readers’ Theater. I love using these script every time I teach weather! They help the students remember how a cloud is formed and the four main types of clouds (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and cumulonimbus.)
Types of Sentences Zombie Scoot Activity. This is a fun activity that can be used to review the types of sentences during the month of October.
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Dogs are better than cats
Dogs and cats are two animals commonly kept as pets at home; dogs are considered a man’s best friend compared to cats because dogs have a special connection with humans. Most homeowners prefer keeping dogs than cats because they make ideal pets due to their unique qualities. Dogs are the most loyal pets to their owners they can read our communication cues; dogs are the most helpful animals during dire situations. Furthermore, dogs are stronger animals compared to cats; dogs usually protect us within our homes. Housedogs are effective and offer better protection than burglar alarms.
Dogs protect us from not only thieves but also from disasters like fire. Several incidences have been highlighted where dogs have rescued its owner by pulling them out of the fire. Keeping a dog has numerous benefits compared to having a cat, especially if the dog is well trained. A trained dog can help with work around the house like picking up small objects using his mouth. Cats do not get involved in any work; cats lay around the house the whole day.
Recent research studies have listed the many benefits of keeping a dog, according to research, most dog owners have lower blood pressure compared to those who do not own dogs and are less likely to develop any serious health problem. Dogs are playful and engage their owners in different activities throughout the day making the stay active. Owning a dog is like having a loyal friend to talk to, to laugh with and taking short walks in the evening.
Even though dogs can be annoying at times when they bark without any reason waking you up at night as compared to cats that do not make loud sounds. The positive side of keeping a dog is that they can be persistent especially when the owner is in danger. This can be of benefit especially when the house is on fire or when someone is trying to break into the house.
Compared to cats, a dog’s sense of smell can be of benefit to humans compared to cats; dogs can be trained to use simple gadgets and respond to cretin commands installed in various gadgets to perform certain tasks. Dogs are used to fight crime; they can detect bombs, illegal drugs and detect any dangerous situation before it happens. Trained dogs are used to manage certain diseases; these dogs have the ability to detect heart attack within 12 hours before the incident occurs. A trained dog will wag his tail, when and bark with anxiety hours before the seizure occur.
Dogs have been proven helpful animal compared to cats; studies reveal that when children are exposed to dog dust and early age, their risk of developing allergies or asthma significantly reduces compared to when children are exposed to cats. Health wise, dogs, have several benefits compared to cats, dogs are the most loyal creatures, and they are energetic, smart, playful and very active animal. On the other hand, cats are lazy and destructive animal, which sometimes can be annoying, especially when they bring dead animals in the house that is why dogs are better. When it comes to choosing the best pet between a dog and a cat, I would prefer keeping dogs than cats because dogs are friendly, loyal and helpful around the house.