Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Rewind - Informational Writing with First Graders

Yep! You read it correctly. These past 3 weeks we have been working 
on informational writing in first grade.  I believe that for students to be successful they need the opportunity to experience the process with increasing independence each time.  Model, model, model the expectations right in front of them. 

Fall is the perfect time for those great topics such as spiders, owls, pumpkins, and bats. After writing 3 pieces with lots of scaffolding and support, my littles need to write a piece all by themselves. 
 I used a lot of this packet as a resource. Available here.

Well all by themselves may be a slight exaggeration because we do follow a process including researching, reading books aloud, taking notes, and choosing facts for an individual graphic organizer.  Gradually they assume more and more responsibility for the writing.

During this prewriting time students receive lots of support and I try to provide them with as much background information as I can. Students work together. I provide support to those students that need it.

Our final writing lesson and activity was to organize our facts that we have collected from our reading and research and organize them into some sort of understandable order. We came up with 5 categories, which I typed up and taped, to the top of large sheets of paper.

Next I literally cut apart the facts we had been recording all week and distributed them to the students. We discussed them and the kiddos glued them where they think they best fit. 
 If they could justify their reasoning, up it went.

Our Cut and Paste Charts of Facts

 It was a proud teacher moment to see the amazing vocabulary words the kids have picked up during this unit.

Diligently adding information to the graphic organizer.  Kids in the background revisiting the charts.
The graphic organizer the students are using can be found here.

Free Graphic Organizer 

On Friday, the kids chose the facts they wanted to include on their personal graphic organizers. They revisited the large charts and made their lists. We put it away and now on Monday we will revisit their graphic organizers. This will be their last chance to gather more facts, ask for help or clarify any questions they have.

Now for the final product!!! On their own, they must use their graphic organizer and write an informational piece on bats. This is our first big independent writing assignment and I can only hope that the practice and process we have gone through will be enough to help my littles meet this CCSS for writing in first grade.

Wish me (and the kiddos) luck! Breathe, breathe, breathe.  I will share the results next week☺

~ Clara @ Teaching 365

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