Do you ever struggle to get your students excited about writing? It can be tough to come up with topics that will engage them and make them want to think critically. That’s where opinion writing prompts come in handy! This blog post will provide a list of 70 prompts to help your students express their thoughts and opinions on controversial topics. These prompts are perfect for sparking engaging classroom discussion!
70 Opinion Writing Ideas
- How would you describe your favorite toy?
- What’s something you like to do?
- What’s something you don’t like to do?
- What would it be if you’d spend the rest of your life doing just one thing?
- What’s your favorite color? And why?
- What’s your favorite song right now? And why?
- Who’s your best friend, and why?
- Do you sometimes get scared at night when no one else is around? Why or why not?
- Have you ever wanted something very much and not gotten it for some reason? How did it make you feel, and what did you do about it (if anything)?
- If one animal lived in every home in the world, what animal would it be and why?
- What’s your favorite season of the year? And why?
- Do you like to read? What’re your favorite books and authors?
- Which superhero would you like to be? And why?
- If you could’ve one superpower, what would it be and why?
- What’s your favorite song right now? Why do you like it so much?
- If you could choose any place in the world to go on vacation, where would you choose it and why?
- Name three important things in life (friends/family, school, etc.) and explain why they’re important to you!
- What’s special about your hometown?
- Why has that had an impact on who you’re today?
- Do you think there should be more rules at school, and if so, what kind of rules would they be (give an example)?
- What would it be if you could change one thing about your school?
- Should there be a dress code at school? Why or why not?
- What’s your favorite subject at school? And why?
- Who’s your favorite teacher, and why?
- Where do you like to eat lunch at school? Why is your favorite place to eat lunch?
- What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
- What’s your favorite TV show?
- What’s your favorite sport, and why do you like it so much?
- What’s your favorite way to spend your time alone?
- What’s the most important lesson your teacher taught you this year?
- What do you do when you’re sad or upset? And does it help you feel better?
- What would it be and why if you could invent a new food?
- Do you think it’s important to keep up with the latest technology? Why or why not?
- What would it be if you could give yourself one piece of advice?
- If you’d to live in another country for a year, where would you go and why?
- Who’s your role model, and why?
- Do you think kindergarten through 5th-grade children should have homework every night? Why or why not?
- What’s more fun at school than homework?
- Do you think students should have access to cell phones in school during class? Why or why not?
- Should children be allowed to vote if they’re under 18? Why or why not?
- Should there be a law against bullying in schools, and if so, what would you include?
- What would you do if a bully harassed your best friend?
- Are you an outdoors person, or do you prefer to stay inside? Explain why.
- What do you like about your school and your classmates?
- Is it okay to use only one language for all purposes?
- Is it right to eat animals?
- Is it better to live in a city or a small town? And why?
- Are there too many tests in school or not enough?
- Do you think teachers should be allowed to use technology in their classrooms, or are they better off using traditional teaching methods?
- Is it okay for teachers to give students different grades based on their effort instead of their performance?
- What is the best way to keep students engaged and learning in the classroom?
- Why do you think it’s important for kids to be involved in their community?
- What would it be if you could introduce one new subject in school?
- If you could eliminate one subject in school, which one would you eliminate and why?
- When are you most creative?
- What do you like best about the school year?
- Is it a good idea to give people more than one chance? Why or why not?
- Should people be allowed to own pets? Why or why not?
- Do you think cats should be able to live both inside and outside, or just one or the other?
- Do you think it’s important to recycle? Why or why not?
- What would it be and why if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life (but it had to be real)?
- Should there be winners and losers in sports, or is participation the ultimate goal?
- Should video games be considered a sport?
- What’s your opinion on social media?
- Do you think having a job you love is important, or is money more important?
- Should you respect your elders just because you’re older, or do you’ve to earn respect?
- At what age do you think you should be allowed to take a paying job, and why?
- If you could see the world through colored glasses, what color would you choose and why?
- Suppose you had enough money and freedom to start a business or buy a house; what would you choose?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Why Opinion Writing Skills Are Important
Whether in 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, or higher, having students be able to write an opinion piece and express their ideas before they enter high school will improve their writing skills and critical thinking.
You can start by choosing one of the prompts above as a sentence starter and starting from there. This will give them a topic to write and think about. Start with a simple opinion writing prompt (e.g., Favorite thing…) so it’s not as difficult as persuasive writing prompts where they’ve to choose their words more carefully because they feel like it’s an argumentative writing prompt like test prep. You want them to have fun with at least the first few opinion writing prompts. Once you’ve developed an opinion writing routine with them, you can move on to a more complex topic.
Help Them Work on Their Reading Comprehension
Having their own opinion is a good reason for students to learn how to research and read words more carefully, which means improving their reading comprehension as they research. This is especially important in 4th and 5th grade when reading skills develop just like writing skills. Start with a simple rubric to get them started working on reading comprehension.
How to Encourage Children to Speak Their Minds Freely
Children need to know that they can be honest with you, and your willingness to accept their feelings as valid is critical to encouraging that honesty.
You should also tell them that it’s okay if they disagree with you. If a child feels that their opinion has no value in the family, they’ll be less willing to express it. They must understand that everyone has a different opinion and that those opinions are worth listening to.
Here are some tips:
- Start with a question. The most important thing is that your child has a choice and is allowed to express their opinion without fear of judgment or consequences. For example, “Do you think the color of this dress looks good on me?” or “Do you like the food we’re going to eat tonight?”
- Acknowledge what they say. This makes your child feel comfortable expressing their opinion and shows them that their feelings are important to you. For example, “Yes, I like it.” or “No, I don’t think so.”
- Depending on their answer, ask more questions until they’ve nothing more to say or don’t want to answer (that’s fine!).
- Don’t interrupt them, even if you disagree with what they say.
- Don’t pressure them to agree with you or others; let them choose their opinions and beliefs.
Teach Them Boundaries, So They Don’t Cross the Line
As a parent, it’s your job to teach your children how to express their opinions and feelings freely. But everything has its time and place.
Just as important as encouraging them to express themselves is setting boundaries. Here are some tips on how to help your kids learn both:
- Start early. Children should be encouraged to speak up from an early age. That way, they grow up knowing that their voice is important and that they can speak up when they don’t like something.
- Teach them what’s private and what’s public. For example, it’s okay for your child to tell you about the playground fight they got into – but not in front of their friends at school!
- Teach them when it’s appropriate to speak up. For example, it’s okay for your child to tell you he hates broccoli… But not when he or she’s a guest at a dinner party!
- Be a role model for good behavior by saying when something isn’t right or fair – and then taking action, such as contacting an authority figure or making changes within your family.