We worked so hard on our opinion writing pieces that we held an open house. (Actually, I figured out that students tried a lot harder if they knew other people were coming to see their work.) We scheduled the open house after our award ceremony, so we had a good parent turn out. We also invited third grade to come see our work.
To prep for the open house, we spent 2-3 class periods designing and creating posters. Students had to sketch out their poster on a piece of paper and show that they included all of the required parts. Once that was approved, they received a poster board and designed it. Most students were able to complete this in one class period. (I did allow students to print our pictures at home and use them if they did not want to draw pictures.)
The open house was a huge success. Parents enjoyed seeing what the students did, and I was able to go around to each student and ask them about Florida’s economy and their chosen industry. I was impressed by how much most of the students understood. Some students knew a lot more about their industries then they had on their poster, and other had some misconceptions that we could clear up in a quick discussion.
In the end, the project was a huge success. Next year, I would definitely add in more support during the ranking and analysis sections, as some students really needed more examples. I would also spend a class period or two investigating the economy. I found that the book mentioned economy and what it was, but it really didn’t stick with students. Other than those two areas, students worked on many higher level thinking skills, public speaking, opinion writing, and social studies skills throughout this project. Students showed a sense of ownership and accomplishment during the open house!
If you are interested in the steps we used to research and write our opinion essays, please read opinion writing posts part 1 and part 2.
Have you held a successful open house? What did you do?