Just like in reading, we are introducing Non-Fiction into writing, as well. The students are learning how to write "teaching books" to teach about a topic they feel they know a lot about. The other day, the students brainstormed an "Expert List" of topics they felt they could teach others about. They will use this list as we continue this unit to help them come up with their topics for their writing. Be sure to ask them about some of the topics they chose to add to their "Expert List". To the left is a picture of a poster we will be reviewing in class to help us with this writing unit.
Here are some of our focuses during this unit of study:
*Writing informational books to teach others about a topic.
*Breaking down and organizing a topic into important parts (chapters)
*Using words and pictures to teach important information.
*Including non-fiction text features such as table of contents, headings, labels, captions, close-ups, and bold words.
We are focusing on....
*Learning more about crafting small moment, narrative stories
*Making our stories come alive by making our characters talk, move and feel
*Telling our stories in small steps using transition words
*Using mentor texts and trying out some of the strategies we see other authors use
*Beginning to edit our work for best spelling, upper/lowercase letter usage, and punctuation
You can help at home by:
*Ask your child what they are writing about
*Ask what they are trying to make their stories "come alive"
*Pick small writing tasks to practice correct letter formation and upper/lower case usage (when they are making sight word flash cards is a great time for this!)
October 15, 2018:
Right now, we are working on writing and telling "small moment" stories from the events in our lives. A small moment is one moment from our day. Unlike a huge "watermelon story," such as a trip to Disney Land, a small moment is a "seed story" - or one event from our trip, such as riding on Splash Mountain. First graders love to tell stories! They come in everyday with a story about going to the park, loosing a tooth, or playing with friends. But sometimes they struggle with coming up with ideas to write about. As they share their stories, tell them, "That would make a great small moment for you to write about at school!"
In Writer's Workshop, I teach them to go through the Writing Process. Our steps are:
1. - Think of an idea. For a small moment, this could be something you do (like riding my scooter or going to gymnastics), or something that has happened to you (like getting caught in a rain storm or making cookies with Dad.)
2. - Plan I tell them this is the most important! We will learn various ways to plan our story. Right now we are thinking about what happened first, then next, then after that and are "touching and telling" (touch each page as you tell the story out loud and think about what would go on each page), then sketch (draw a quick sketch on each page to help you remember your plan)
3. - Write! As you can see, we don't begin with writing our story!
4. - Revise I tell them, "When you think you're done, you've only just begun!" We add detail to our story using "spider legs" and think how can I make my story better?
5. - Edit We check spelling and punctuation. We are talking about leaving spaces between our words, writing with lower-case letters, learning strategies for spelling words we don't know, and using punctuation. Of course not all of our spelling is expected to be correct! We focus on the patterns we are learning in our Words Their Way sort, and we use our Word Wall to help us spell. First graders spell phonetically and that is what we want them to do for most words right now.
Ask your child to tell you about the small moment stories they are writing in class!