ALEX Lesson Plan


Talk to the Hand

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Courtney Karr
System: Lawrence County
School: Lawrence County Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33158


Talk to the Hand


Students will write an opinion piece on a controversial topic and support it with reasons and information.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
22 ) Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. [W.4.1]

a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose. [W.4.1a]

b. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. [W.4.1b]

c. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). [W.4.1c]

d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. [W.4.1d]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.22- Compose opinion pieces by stating an opinion, providing reasons related to the opinion, and providing an appropriate conclusion related to the stated opinion.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

I can formulate an opinion.

I can support an opinion with facts and valid reasoning.

I can brainstorm to organize my reasonings.


Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:






Technology Resources Needed:


Blog Logins




Set up educational blog logins for students.


Experience writing a paper would be helpful.


1. Tell students that today we are going to express our opinions in our writing. By the end of this lesson you should be able to say, “I can formulate an opinion and support it with evidence.”

2. Tell students in a moment you are going to turn to your neighbor and brain storm a list of controversial (school appropriate) topics in society. Controversial means that it is something people argue about. An example of a controversial topic would be school uniforms. Allow students to turn and talk with a partner to brainstorm more ideas. Ask students to share and record their ideas on the board or chart paper. (Examples: No bed time, cell phones in school, no seating arrangement in the classroom, cell phones in school, etc.)

3. Tell students to choose one issue that they feel strongly about. Either have students trace their hand print or use the attached template of a hand print picture. In the palm of the hand students should write their opinion. Example: “I believe students should be allowed to have an hour of free time per school day.”

4. Tell students that good opinions are supported with valid reasoning. You can’t say that you should have free time because if not you will be mad. That won’t make someone agree with you. An example of good support would be, free time helps develop social skills that will be a benefit when entering the job market. Your support is supposed to make someone agree with you. While developing your support think about trying to get a parent, teacher, or principal to agree with you. How can you get what you want?

5. When students have developed good support, they should write a support statement on each finger of the hand cut out.

6. Tell students that they are going to take the information on the hand print and turn it into an opinion writing. Ask students if they have ever heard anyone say “talk to the hand”? That is a saying people say when they are too frustrated to express an opinion. Instead of becoming frustrated we are going to express our opinions with educated words.

7. Allow students time to write a rough first draft of the opinion writing piece. Remind students to use good verbs (desire instead of want, etc.).

8. After students have had time to write a first draft, tell students that we are going to create our own opinion blogs. (Free blog websites links attached)

*If you do not have access to the technology needed, you can continue on a paper pencil path.

9. Students should type their opinion writing in to the educational blog.


Links to Free Educational Blogs


**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Prewriting handprint and rough draft can be used as a formative assessment.  The final blog post should be graded using the attached rubric as a summative assessment.



Students can respond to each other's blog posts with a disagreeing opinion writing piece.


The teacher can provide students with one or two topics to pick from.

The teacher can assist the student in developing support.

The student can turn in a hand written paper.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.