Sample Responses

How does the increased emphasis on opinion/argumentative and informative/explanatory writing affect your instructional practices, particularly in history/social studies?

In the old grade 4 reading/language arts content standards, students had to write narratives, responses to literature, information reports, and summaries so the switch to opinion and informative/explanatory writing beyond reports will be very large, but students will be working on these types of writing - supporting opinions and topics with reasons, facts, and details - from kindergarten.

Much of history/social studies text is argumentative or explanatory in nature, so I think I can examples of that type of writing to model for my students. I can use historical argumentative or explanatory questions, such as "How did the Gold Rush affect California's politics, economics, society, and physical environment?" to organize my instruction and then have students answer those questions with evidence from the text.