Writing Opinion Texts: Publishing a Broadside | EL Education Curriculum

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.4.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.4.6: With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
  • L.4.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.4.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can correct conventions based on editing notes on my writing and online reference resources. (W.4.1, W.4.5, L.4.1, L.4.2)
  • I can publish a typed version of my broadside. (W.4.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Loyalist broadside (final copy) (W.4.1, W.4.5, W.4.6, L.4.1, L.4.2)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Poster Walk: Reexamining Broadsides from the Revolutionary War (10 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Modeling: Using Technology to Publish (10 minutes)

B. Independent Work and Conferring (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Listening (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students work independently to publish their broadsides. This lesson is largely dependent upon students having access to a computer and a printer. If technology is not available in sufficient numbers, students can use print dictionaries and focus on using neat handwriting to create a published copy of their broadsides (W.4.1, W.4.5, W.4.6).
  • In the Opening, students reexamine the broadsides they studied in the beginning of this unit, now focusing on the visuals that some broadsides included. Consider allowing students to decorate their borders with visuals that symbolize their opinion after they have finished typing their broadside. This portion of the lesson can be extended or omitted based on teacher preference. It is included here as an option so students' finished work will more closely resemble the broadsides of the time period. Also consider allowing students to select from a choice of fonts similar to those of the time period.
  • In this lesson, students focus on working to contribute to a better world by taking care of shared spaces.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Students pull together the work they have done throughout the unit to complete their broadsides. Before publishing, students reread their Patriot broadside, drafted and revised throughout the unit, and their Loyalist broadside, drafted and revised for the End of Unit 3 assessment, and select which they would like to publish.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-4 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Students may need additional time for publishing.

Assessment guidance:

  • Use the Opinion Writing Rubric: Grade 4 to grade students' published broadsides (see the Tools page).

Down the road:

  • Students will participate in a text-based discussion about their opinion of the American Revolution in the next lesson.

In Advance

  • Revisit Poster Walk groupings from Lesson 3 and prepare posters.
  • Review the Poster Walk protocol.
  • Prepare Steps for Publishing Our Broadsides anchor chart (see supporting Materials).
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-2 to create anchor charts to share with families, to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families, and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.
  • Work Time A: Demonstrate the word-processing software students will use to publish their work.
  • Work Time B: Students publish their work using word-processing software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.C.10, 4.I.C.11, and 4.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to celebrate and show pride in their hard work by publishing their broadsides. Students are given a choice about which of their two broadsides to publish and are given time to reread and make any necessary corrections before publishing.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to publish their broadside if they feel it is not quite ready or if the language of the broadside is not complete or correct. Encourage them by pointing out examples of how they clearly stated and defended their opinion with reasons and evidence and by celebrating the overall communication in their broadsides.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Challenge students to create sentence frames to support the noticing and wondering during the Poster Walk in Opening A. Invite those who need heavier support to use the frames.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, invite students to use the frames created by more proficient students to discuss the posters (see "for lighter support").
  • If necessary, provide students with additional time outside of this lesson to review, make any necessary corrections, and publish their broadsides.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, various anchor charts are displayed for student reference. Provide copies of these anchor charts in advance so they can maintain focus, sketch, or take notes about their thinking and access important information as they work independently. Additionally, consider providing individual copies of anchor charts to students who may benefit from this option for perception.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): In this lesson, students correct conventions based on editing notes and reference resources. Vary the complexity by breaking this task down into discrete steps. Support executive function skills by offering individual checklists or rubrics that outline these steps.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): In this lesson, students use technology to publish their work. Some may need additional support in persevering during Work Time B. Consider offering built-in breaks, during which students can choose an activity such as getting water or stretching. Consider varying the level of sensory stimulation as appropriate for individual students as they work on publishing their work using the computer (e.g., offering sound-canceling headphones or dividing workspaces).


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

  • publish, taking care of shared spaces (L)


  • Markers (a different color for each group; one per student)
  • Poster Walk posters (from Lesson 3; 8 to display)
  • Directions for Poster Walk Review (one to display)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Steps for Publishing Our Broadsides anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting Materials)
  • Patriot broadside (completed in Lesson 12; published during Work Time B; one per student)
  • Loyalist broadside (completed in Lesson 13; published during Work Time B; one per student)


Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment.


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poster Walk: Reexamining Broadsides from the Revolutionary War (10 minutes)

  • Distribute markers and point out the Poster Walk posters displayed around the classroom. Remind students that they used this protocol and the same posters in Lesson 3 and review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Display and briefly review the Directions for Poster Walk Review. Answer clarifying questions.
  • Move students to sit with the same groups from Lesson 3.
  • Guide students through the protocol.
  • After 10 minutes, invite students to go back to their first poster and read through all of the new comments on the poster.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What do you notice about the visuals included on the broadsides?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Point out that having a polished and visually appealing piece of writing can make it easier to read and eye-catching. Tell students that today they will work on making their broadsides polished by typing them up on the computer and, if they wish, by including visuals that represent the opinions in their broadsides.
  • If you allow students to include a visual, select a broadside and discuss how the visuals communicate and complement the message contained in the writing. Ask students to suggest visuals that may complement the Patriot perspective and the Loyalist perspective and prompt them to support their suggestions with details from their research.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension and engagement: Activate background knowledge by inviting students to recall and share with an elbow partner their previous experience with Poster Walks. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: (Modeling and Thinking Aloud: Poster Walk) Model and think aloud the process for examining one broadside, noticing the visuals and any details in it and adding that information to the poster below the broadside.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud:

"I can correct conventions based on editing notes on my writing and online reference resources."

"I can publish a typed version of my broadside."

  • Circle the word publish and use a total participation technique to invite responses from the group:

"What does it mean to publish something?" (to publish means to make the work available to the public)

  • Tell students that today is the day they prepare their work to make it public--in other words, publish it. To publish their broadsides, they need to be sure everything is complete and correct. Today they will have time to polish their writing.
  • Focus students on the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart. Remind them that they are applying their learning through the creation of their broadsides. Focus students on taking care of shared spaces. Tell students that they will need to take care of their shared spaces, as they will work on computers to publish their work.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Invite students to recall one way they recently took care of shared spaces. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: (Providing Examples) Consider preparing a typed version of a broadside or collecting published broadsides from previous years to show students examples of the kind of work they will complete in this lesson. If possible, show examples that include visuals.
  • For ELLs: (Transparency) Ensure that the purpose of publishing their broadsides is transparent.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Modeling: Using Technology to Publish (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to sit where they can see your computer display.
  • Demonstrate how to use the word-processing software you have chosen, including how to use spell check to check and replace the incorrect spellings.
  • Direct students' attention to the Steps for Publishing Our Broadsides anchor chart and invite students to chorally read it with you:
  1. Read your revised Patriot broadside draft and your revised Loyalist broadside draft and decide which broadside you would like to publish.
  2. Reread your selected broadside draft and make corrections.
  3. Rewrite your selected draft to include the corrections and revisions.
  4. List the sources at the end of your writing.
  5. Print your work.
  6. Optional: Decorate the border of your broadside with visuals that represent your opinion.
  • Answer any clarifying questions.
  • For ELLs: (Visual Reinforcement) Provide visual reinforcement on the Steps for Publishing Our Broadsides anchor chart by adding a sketch or drawing next to each step.

B. Independent Work and Conferring (30 minutes)

  • Distribute or invite students to move to sit at a computer.
  • Distribute students' revised Patriot broadside and Loyalist broadside and tell them to begin working. Remind them to reference the Steps for Publishing Our Broadsides anchor chart as they are working.
  • Invite students to begin working.
  • Circulate to support students and to remind them to incorporate any corrections or revisions from their edited draft into their final copies. Remind them to make any capitalization, punctuation, and spelling corrections that they noted on their edited draft or in the teacher's feedback and to record their sources at the end of their writing.
  • When students indicate they are finished with their broadsides, ask them to add a footer to their document that includes their name. This will avoid confusion when students print their papers.
  • For students who may need additional support with perception: Provide an index card with the steps from the anchor chart to individual students for reference as they work. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: (Reading Aloud in Pairs) Consider allowing students to quietly read their broadsides aloud to a partner so they can support each other in making any necessary corrections.

Closing & Assessments


A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group. Use a checking for understanding technique (e.g., Red Light, Green Light or Thumb-O-Meter) for students to self-assess against the learning targets.
  • As time permits, focus students on the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart and invite them to self-assess how well they took care of shared spaces in this lesson.
  • Tell them that in the next lesson, they will celebrate their learning as readers, researchers, and writers by sharing their published broadsides and discussing their opinion on the American Revolution.


HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.
  • Modify the amount or complexity of reading that struggling learners complete for homework. Provide sentence frames for their responses or allow them to share their learning in other ways, such as drawing or discussing what they've learned with their family, a partner, or the teacher.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: (Oral Response) Students may benefit from discussing and responding to their prompt orally, either with a partner or family member or by recording their response. (MMAE)

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