Best in Show!

We recently finished a pretty great unit on opinion writing.  I just realized (which happens more than I’d like to admit) that I’ve been collecting lots of photos and teaching moments, but not sharing any of them!  And now what has happened is that there is NO way I could write the whole story in one sitting, and NO way you’d want to read it all in one post!  So I’ll just share bits of it at a time.  That’s ok, right?  Thanks for understanding. 🙂

Ok, so our unit (which was taken from Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study), began with an experience related to dog shows.  Well lots of kinds of shows.  Dinosaur shows, bouncy ball shows, army men shows, writing utensil shows.  Our unit began with kids practicing what it looks (and feels) like to choose the best of something, and give sound reasons as to why that was their choice.  I LOVE how even from day 1, kiddos were doing some of the same thinking and writing they’d be expected to do (on a much deeper level) at the end of the unit.  We had jumped into the deep end with both feet!

Kids were asked to bring in a collection of something beloved from home.  We talked about dog shows and made sure everyone understood the idea of “best in show” and how that works.  We talked about how to judge fairly, and I modeled my very own “best in show.”  I was the one who had a writing utensil show.  I know you’re surprised. 🙂


This is the process we used to choose our Best in Show.


My writing utensil collection. 🙂 I used the “How to Judge Fairly” chart to determine which one was the best. It’s the black Flair pen, by the way. 🙂


You’re convinced, right?

After some modeling, practicing aloud with a partner (with my collection, trying to tell their partner which of my items was the best and why), writers tried out the process on their own collections.  Isn’t it fun how many different kinds of collections we ended up with in our room?:

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As the closure for this first day of opinions, kiddos shared their Best in Show thinking with an elbow partner.

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I have to tell you, I was SUPER impressed with how well they did at their very first try!  I think it was a peek into the great work that was to come.  And I’ll share more of that great work in bits and pieces over the next few days.  You’ll come back, right? 🙂

2 thoughts on “Best in Show!

  1. Pingback: Fiction, For Real! | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

  2. Pingback: And the Winner Is… | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

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