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Why We Ate Insects During Writing

Why We ATE INSECTS During Writing!


Last year my co-worker and I noticed a need for substantial and meaningful opinion writing topics. We were tired of reading cats vs dogs, the battle of school uniforms, or that there should be longer lunches. Sound familiar?

Here’s how we're keeping it fun and exciting. 

After brainstorming and searching the interwebs for topics that would give students more content and supporting details to use in their writing, we came up with the following thoughts.


1)    We felt that in fourth grade students could handle research based opinion writing.

2)   
 We wanted our students to be better researchers as in their future they will need to know HOW to find information more than ever before.

3)    They would be able to choose from more interesting and significant topics.


One topic we thought would excite and elicit raw emotions from our students was EATING INSETS! Boy, were we right! Upon introducing the topic the room groaned with, “ewwwws,” and “YEAHs!” Everyone had an opinion almost immediately.



Once we had their undivided attention we began the project by spending a week researching entomophagy. Students gathered facts both supporting and against eating insects, then we began to work on our best opinion essays yet!

As a teacher, I want my students to be able take information and weigh the pros and cons before deciding on an opinion. This is an amazing opportunity for that. 

In total we spent about 3 weeks researching, planning, writing, revising, editing, and creating our final copies. Although, everyone's FAVORITE part of the unit was our writer's celebration. 

Here's a quick overview: 

-Students choose a section of their paper that they were the most proud of 
-Parents and special guests came in and listened to them share their writing in 
groups
-Then we all tried some chocolate covered insects!! The parents LOVED snapping pics of their kids trying the insects. Some jumped right in and crunched away, others needed some more encouragement! All in all it was a hit! I already have younger siblings saying they can't wait to come to fourth grade and eat insects too. :) 



 Students showing off their writing to our guests (who are even using our flexible seating!). 





LISTEN TO THAT CRUNCH?! AHHH - What won't we do for our kids?

This 3 week unit turned out to be all we could have hoped and more. Students were genuinely interested in continuing research, even our hard to reach students couldn't wait until writing. Those of you who are teaching students to research for the first time know it can become frustrating for them. 

In this resource I give you all of the research ready to go. We used two videos and a handful of articles. It also includes daily lesson plans, student writing packets, teacher notes, and step by step directions on ordering insects for your own celebration! 




Stay tuned for the next engaging research based opinion writing unit! 

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