Thanks to my great friend, and writing guru, Dawn Mitchell, my class had the most fun this afternoon as we learned about fact/opinion, persuasive writing, and Amazon! Yes... you read that correctly Amazon...as in the world's largest online retailer! Here's what we did!
So you go on Amazon and look up any book in your classroom and read as many of reviews about the book as you can. (Teachers, be sure to read the reviews ahead of time. ;) Always move on the side of caution.
After reading a few of the reviews, we started a chart of things we noticed about each one... They had opinions. The had reasons for their opinions. They gave examples from the story to support their opinion. They challenged the reader to action...buy or not to buy... read or not to read. Thanks to Amazon being awesome, there is even a 5 star rating system that my students really connected with because of its similarity to AR ratings at the of an AR test.
Once students had a good grasp of what a review was, they jumped in head first with partners, discussing their opinions and feelings about story of the week, "Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble". We called this a "Book Talk". You know... like Oprah's Book Club!
After a few moments of sharing out, students and I worked together to write our very own Amazon book review. You can see it posted below. If you click the picture of the review, you can actually see the review live on Amazon and leave us a comment about our good work.
Pretty soon, students will write their own reviews independently and even make commercials advertising their favorite books! I can't wait for this unit to bear much fruit!
The students were so ecstatic about their new learning today!