We believe strong literacy instruction provides the foundation necessary to put our scholars on the path to college. Scholars receive more than 90 minutes of reading and writing instruction each day. Alma del Mar provides targeted literacy interventions to ensure that all of our scholars are achieving their full potential.
First Grade Opinion Writing:
First grade scholars spend twelve works studying argumentative and opinion writing. Scholars begin by learning how to express their opinions about objects, by making comparisons and giving reasons for why the think one object is better than another. They develop criteria for being a “good judge” and practice giving multiple reasons for their opinions as a way to persuade others to agree with them.
Next scholars study movie, book and restaurant reviews. Scholars practice asking their readers questions and adding descriptive language as techniques to engage their audience. They learn about making suggestions and ways to help their reader feel curious about the topic being discussed. Next, scholars write letters to their families to request something. Scholars study the parts of a letter and learn how the mechanics of writing such as proper spelling and grammar help the reader to focus on the content of the letter.
The unit concludes with the scholars writing letters to President Obama and Senator Mark Montigny to persuade them to change or improve something about the community. This year, Senator Montigny was so moved by the letters he received that he visited our scholars to address their concerns in person. Below are examples of two pieces of opinion writing written during this unit: a review of the cafeteria at Bristol Community College and a letter to Mark Montigny about gun violence.