FIP in Action: ELA Grade 5 Opinion Writing

Infants as young as 4 months old are able to show us if they feel happy, or indicate that they want a particular toy that’s just out of reach. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) In elementary school, children learn to express preferences over reading materials, favorite colors, and interests in activities. This skill of expression is incredibly important as they grow up and learn to voice their opinions as young adults in school and in the workplace. Over the course of many years, our students will grow from a simple “I do/don’t like” to eventually writing full-length essays supporting their opinions on research projects and college entrance examinations.

Children in the same grade and class can be at many different places in terms of expressing their opinions as they develop as writers. The newest FIP in Action module focuses on helping Grade 5 students at a variety of different achievement levels to advance in their opinion writing.

In FIP in Action: ELA Grade 5 Opinion Writing, you will enter the classroom of Mr. Hughes, who teaches both English Language Arts and Social Studies. You will watch as he teaches a group of 27 students how to write opinion pieces with strong conclusions using effective revising methods based on feedback received from him and from peers.

Mr. Hughes uses modeling and strong examples to introduce the learning targets. You’ll see how he teaches students to use rubrics for self-assessment and checks for accuracy. In fact, you will help him review student work samples, including Lucy’s self-assessment (seen below).

You will also see how Mr. Hughes responds to the data he collects to inform his further instruction. He is able to work with students of all ability levels, including a group of students who demonstrate readiness to work with Going Beyond learning targets.

Throughout the FIP in Action: ELA Grade 5 Opinion Writing module, you will encounter different strategies that Mr. Hughes uses to share learning targets, collect and analyze evidence of learning, and ultimately work to move his students forward. Specifically, you can:

  • Download the full deconstruction of the ELA Grade 5 Opinion Writing Standard. See how Mr. Hughes and his professional learning team worked together to deconstruct this standard to plan instruction and assessment.
  • Download a Grade 5 Opinion Writing Rubric that can be used to help students understand expectations, self-assess, and provide each other with feedback.
  • Discover new strategies for controlling sampling when using classroom questioning as assessment, and learn ideas for using student writing samples to demonstrate varying degrees of mastery.

Want to learn more about this module? Click here to find more information or enroll.
(Note: you will need an account on the Ohio Student Progress Portal to enroll in this online learning.)

Visit the FIP in Action modules page of this website if you are looking for examples of formative instructional practices in action in different grades or subject areas.

J. Hagan, Jr. (March, 2014). Important Milestones: Your Baby at Four Months: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from