In our series on Channel One and the Common Core we’ve discussed how both nonfiction reading and listening skills can be developed with the resources available on this site. Another English Language Arts skill that is essential across the content areas is supporting opinions using evidence. The Common Core State Standards include specific expectations for opinion writing.
Every school year students will be asked to write opinion pieces based on information they have gathered. Channel One News is a fantastic resource for teachers and students conducting research and diving into current events topics. As students work to write comprehensive opinion pieces, they can use the videos, articles and transcripts as source material.
The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing describe what students should be able to do in a general sense. There are also specific expectations outlined by grade level that give teachers an idea of what students should be able to accomplish by the end of each school year. All students should be able to “write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1). Current events issues lend themselves well to opinion writing. After watching news clips like the ones presented on ChannelOne.com students can form an opinion about a particular event in the news.
When looking at how each writing standard is broken down by grade level, it’s clear that students are asked to think deeply as they form an opinion and gather information to support their position. For example, eighth grade students are asked to do few things when writing opinion pieces. Students are expected to “introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.A). Channel One News includes a wide variety of video clips that will help students build the background knowledge they need to write an opinion piece.
When students write opinion pieces they will need to include facts and data that strengthen their argument. The writing standards for eighth graders ask teens to “support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.B). Finding trustworthy sources that present facts and data on a topic can be challenging for students. With the videos on ChannelOne.com, students have access to information that is accurate and credible. Not only will students be able to demonstrate their understanding of a topic in their writing piece, but they can support their argument by using evidence gathered from a variety of multimedia sources – including Channel One News video clips.
Opinion writing is an important life skill that can develop over the course of high school as students grow as writers. As teachers develop lessons that address the Common Core State Standards they can use the fantastic resources on ChannelOne.com to strengthen their students’ English Language Arts skills.
How are you using the videos on ChannelOne.com? What is your favorite activity for teaching opinion writing?
Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.