FE2: Opinion Article Lesson Plan + Comments

LESSON PLAN (per “5E Lesson Plan” template)

Date: May 12th 2017

Subject/Grade Level: Sec-5 English IB

Required Materials:
– Laptop (Opinion Article Lesson PowerPoint)
– Overhead Projector
– Handouts of self-written Opinion Article (1 per student)
– Small paper for exit slip (1 per student)

Professional Competencies:

Secondary English Language Arts Competency 2 – Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts
o Students will be expected to read an opinion article written in the same standard as expected on the final government exam. By reading this article and organizing it into comprehensible sections, students will demonstrate their ability to identify codes and conventions, understand the article’s meaning, and ultimately read with a specific purpose. These will all demonstrate students’ mastery over Competency 2.

Cross-Curricular Competency 5 – Uses Information
o Students will be provided a sample opinion article to which they will be expected to identify the different organizational components of the article. By identifying what part is what and explaining the purpose of each part, students will display that they are able to use a piece of text to extract information and organize the body of work into differentiated, comprehensive sections.

Concept/Topic To Teach/Clarifying Objectives:
Article writing – Opinion Articles
– Preparation for Government Exam
o At this point students have had 3 full classes to choose a topic from the exam booklet, take notes, and write either an opinion or feature article of their choice. This lesson will serve as a reminder for the essential components of an opinion article.

Differentiated Learning:
– A YouTube video will be shown during the lesson to ensure that students who don’t work well with a pen and paper can still cover the different steps of writing an opinion article both auditorily and visually.
– Handouts will be given to each student to ensure that students have the same material directly in front of them, as opposed to observing a PowerPoint.

Specific Lesson Objectives:

– Students will be able to identify the different essential components of an opinion article.
– Students will be able to identify the different essential conventions of an article.

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In or Hook/Engagement):
– Prior to the actual lesson (analyzing a given opinion article), students will be told that today’s lesson will focus exclusively on opinion articles. Students will then be asked to remember and point out the different components of an opinion article. Students’ responses will be written down on the chalkboard beside the Smart Board.
o This will refresh the students’ memories and clarify today’s topic so they know what to expect
– Students’ responses will then be compared to a slide detailing the different aspects of a good opinion article. Students will have a chance to visually verify their answers and remember the topic that they will be engaging with today.
– Self-evaluative questions students will be asking themselves: “What is a good opinion article?” “What are the necessary conventions an article must follow?”

Lesson Development (Procedures/Exploration+Explanation):
Class – 55 minutes
– Attendance, distribute handouts (5 minutes)
– Q&A – Ask class if they remember the different elements of an opinion article (15 minutes)
o Headline, byline, lead, development, close
o Persuasive element (opinion)
o Quotations + explanations of quotations
o Compare answers to PowerPoint slide.
– Run through pre-written opinion article with class (25 minutes)
– Impose the “big-idea” question on students, “What is a good opinion article?”, in order to narrow focus of topic in today’s lesson
o Students will refer to the handout which contains pre-written opinion article.
o Run through the article in a step-by-step fashion, instruct students to fill out notes accordingly as I explain
o Use higher order questions to solicit students’ explanations: “Can you identify where the development ends?” “Why does this article use personal experience over statistics?” “Why is this article a good opinion article?”
o By the end students will have an opinion article filled with notes explaining the purpose of each section
YouTube Video – video covers how to write an opinion article (2 minutes)
– Exit Slip Activity – At the end of the analysis, students will be instructed to write a short response (1-2 sentences) as an exit slip. Students who wrote an opinion article will write down one practice they used in their opinion article that is an example of a good opinion article. Students who wrote feature will write one thing he/she used in the feature article that would not work in an opinion article.

Reinforcing Activity/Elaboration:
– At the end of the analysis, students will be instructed to write a short response (1-2 sentences) as an exit slip. Students who wrote an opinion article will write down one practice they used in their opinion article that is an example of a good opinion article. Students who wrote feature will write one thing he/she used in the feature article that would not work in an opinion article. This will act as a short, end-of-lesson activity that shows me that students have grasped the content.
– By writing out responses themselves, students demonstrate ownership of the knowledge learned. As practical help, this lesson will greatly inform students when they write their government exam.


– Students will observe a YouTube video called “How to Write an Opinion Article” that restates the different components covered within class.

– The Exit Slip activity at the end of the class will act as a small assessment activity. This activity will ensure that I have a way of verifying that students have understood how to write an opinion article.
– Students will also be evaluated based on their participation and responses given to the higher order questions I ask them.

Professional Development Goal(s):
– This will be my first actual lesson where I am in independent control, and so my biggest goal is to develop my ability to pace my lesson in a lenient fashion within the given time frame.
– I will also aim to develop my ability to manage a classroom. As a guest coming in school for 3 weeks, it is unlikely that students will perfectly listen to me and remain completely focused throughout the entire lesson. As a student teacher, I will make sure to diversify my teaching through different ways, such as moving around in the classroom and keeping eye-contact on students, to develop my classroom management abilities.


This lesson plan was devised specifically to take place following a 3-day lesson where students are expected to produce either an opinion or feature article based off past government exams. Through my observations, I realized that many students were already understanding article writing, with some even expressing boredom over the repeated coverage. This is why I explicitly made my evaluative activity short and simple, with focus placed on the actual breakdown of the sample article. By including opportunities for cooperative learning, I ensure that students who do not usually participate in class still foster interpersonal skills and begin to “view one another as more equal in status and worth” (Parkay, 212). By encouraging students to talk among one another, I ultimately foster a culture of inquiry within the classroom where an environment that encourages “intellectual risk-taking” within students (McTighe, 100). With a class demographic of multiple coded students, I further ensured that enough physical handouts would be available for students to directly refer to. Furthermore, by including a YouTube clip and constantly asking for feedback from students, I aim to teach the same lesson in multiple ways, catering to students’ different intelligences and learning styles.

In terms of specific lesson building approaches, I found the 5E template and UBD templates to be the most applicable and convenient models for my lesson plan to fit in. The structural clarity of UBD makes it easier for me to focus on one specific aspect of the lesson – be it a specific resource, a particular objective, or a classroom issue that must be addressed – and to develop a holistic lesson plan based on that specific component. Furthermore, by determining what I want out of the students first, it becomes an easier process of development as I then structure a lesson with a clear outcome in mind. However, I found the 5E model to be particularly fitting of the opinion article lesson plan because it requires a diverse elaboration on multiple aspects of how I aim to ensure students learn the actual lesson. In terms of a student-teaching lesson plan where the lesson fits into the CT’s overall picture, having the 5E model explicitly outline how I was going to explain, elaborate, and so forth helped me organize my lesson into its rudimentary parts.

Having ran through this lesson plan 3 times with different student groups each, I now realize that certain things do not always go according to plan. For instance, if I were to design this plan again I would give more time towards housekeeping duties, such as attendance and handout distribution. Housekeeping is a necessity of all lesson plans and really depend on the particular day. As a result, it is important to have sufficient time for students to settle down and receive the proper resources prior to being taught a lesson. Furthermore, if I were to redesign this lesson, I would project the handout on the computer to further provide a visual accompaniment to their handouts. Throughout the lesson, I noticed that some students struggled to keep up with my instructive pace. As a result, by projecting the handout on screen students may have an easier time finding where the class is and actually writing the notes down.


Parkay, F. W., Stanford, B. H., Vaillancourt, J. P., Stephens, H. C., & Harris, J. R. (2012). Creating a Community of Learners. In Becoming a Teacher (4th ed., pp. 200-230). Toronto: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

Wiggins, G. (2013). How do we Establish a Culture of Inquiry in Classrooms? In J. McTighe (Ed.), Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding (pp. 81-100). ASCD.


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