MIPA Students Get Creative in Opinion Coverage Class

By Sean Vichinsky

Erykah Benson described “galaxy,” a mix of the celestial hues in the night sky, as her favorite color. Though that may sound like a creative choice from the Grosse Pointe South High School student, her peers in Mrs. Christina Hammitt’s Opinion Coverage class all had a chance to express their opinions through creative outlets.

“I wanted to learn more about the writing aspect of improving my skills,” said Benson. “I chose Opinion Coverage for the fact that we can express our words through human emotion, through other people’s perspectives.”

The ten students taking the Opinion Coverage class, including Benson, listened with intense focus as Hammitt lectured on the importance of opinion writing.

“When you’re giving your opinion, you’ve got to think about the person you’re writing about,” Hammitt said to her students. “But you also have to think about what the reader wants.”

Hammitt added that, ultimately, the readers “care about themselves” and want to find an opinion to relate to.

That’s where our MIPA Opinion Coverage writers come in.

As with all successful teachers, however, Hammitt found other methods of helping her students express their opinions in their writing. Students wrote their own story maps, in which they tied many of their life experiences in common to find out what each student has in common.

The story map tool was then brought to life on balloons, which students shared with each other after bouncing them around, watching their ideas “float” with others. Common experiences shared through the students’ balloons included building confidence, the ACT, divorce, travelling, and high school in general.

Mrs. Hammitt educates her students on Opinion Coverage using several balloons. | Photo by Sean Vichinsky

Mrs. Hammitt educates her students on Opinion Coverage using several balloons. | Photo by Sean Vichinsky

And for Benson, expressing her creativity through the Opinion Coverage class can only help her in her future.

“I think it’ll help me find my own voice as a person,” said Benson. “Often times, it gets distracting, hearing other people’s opinions. It’d be nice to find my own.”

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