We've known our writing lessons needed an overhaul but we just weren't sure where to start. When I found the book, No More, "I'm Done!" that all changed. This is a must read for all lower el teachers.
Here are few of our favorite writing lessons we've taught so far this year...
This lesson starts with the story, A House For Hermit Crab, and a big empty square drawn on chart paper. Read and enjoy. Then discuss all the details on hermit crab's house. By now, kids are wanted to know what the big square is for on the paper. Invite each student to come up and add one thing to the "house." Then write a story that includes each and everything that was added.
We have taken a look at numerous ways stories are arranged and by far the two favorite have been ABC stories and stories arranged by days of the week.
We absolutely LOVE the book, The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg. The kids have a great time trying to guess what will happen to the next letter. This prompted TONS of ABC books to be written.
We also read, Cookie's Week. This book is very simple but is wonderful for showing a different way that authors can choose to write a story. After reading the book we did a shared writing. Of course they wanted to write about Baby T.
We typed it up... they love rereading stories written with help from all their classmates.
Are you sick of reading stories that start with, "One day..."? Yeah. Us too. The good leads portion of the book was really good for us. She outlined some of the most interesting ways for students to start stories. We picked 5 leads that we thought our students would be most apt to use in their writing.
We introduced one lead each day and modeled writing with that lead. After 5 days we had learned all the different leads. Our culminating activity was suggested by Jennifer Jacobson. Her book said to gather about 20 picture books that all started with good leads. We read the beginning of each book and then sorted them by the type of lead. Such a great way to show students that they are doing things real authors do!