opinion writing ... to a rock star

A deep dive into a content area produces results

“Dear Ricky, I am very excited for you to read this letter,” a student in Amy Hoaglund’s second grade class wrote, followed by the main thing on his mind: the hope that the musician would visit their class. 

The second grader also shared three reasons he liked Ricky's music including the steady beat, the lyrics and the upbeat and energetic feelings the songs elicited.

This student and all of his classmates were over the top excited when Rick Mitarotonda, the lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the band Goose (and Hoaglund’s brother) actually came to visit!

A visit from a professional musician - and the teacher's brother

Using research, writing and interviewing skills

His visit to Meadow Pond Elementary was the culmination of the class’s opinion writing unit. Students wrote letters to Rick expressing which Goose song was their favorite and why. Each letter had an opening sentence, multiple reasons to support their opinions and a closing sentence.

The students also wrote questions for Rick ahead of time. They learned that he started his music career in middle school, that his favorite food is sweet potatoes, and that he listened to a lot of Billy Joel and the Eagles when he was their age.

A private concert of their favorite songs

A highlight was listening to him play their four favorite songs, closing with “Tumble”—a song about getting back up again after you fall down. The students all sang along.

And if you stumble
If your balance you lose
A road lies ahead so tie up your shoes

A song about resilience