Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Procedural Writing

Hi, friends!  I've been banned from the computer for the past almost 3 weeks now because I had rotator cuff surgery but was finally cleared to do some computer work yesterday!  Yeah!  I've missed being able to work.  Today's post is all about one of my favorite types of writing: procedural {better known as "how-to}.  I think I love teaching my kids this type of writing because all of the students typically do well and feel successful,  Even the strugglers can feel confident writing a set of simple directions.  I typically teach this type of writing right before I introduce informational reports.  The non-fiction unit is my favorite!

To launch the unit, we look at some real-world examples of directions and talk about the importance of having clear directions as well as being able to follow them.  I bring in examples of board game directions, recipe cards, and books.  Next, we watch a Brain Pop Jr. on "How-To" writing.  I love BPJ and how they break content down for the kids!!  We also discuss temporal words and their role in directions.

Next, we do some sort of attention-grabbing activity that involves writing a how-to report together. In the past, I've done "How to blow bubbles" and "How to make a dirt cup snack."  Both are really fun! We think about the steps for each and write them down together.  I write on chart paper as the kids write on their own papers while completing the steps.

On the days following, my mini-lessons involve me modeling several of my own how-to reports...including using a graphic organizer to jot down things I am good at.  For independent practice, I have kids work in small groups to plan out the steps for a how-to report using a card that I give them.  Once they are ready and can verbalize the steps to me as a group, I let them attempt to write those steps down!

We continue this process of small-group work to meet the CCSS.  Once kids are ready, the transition to writing their own how-to reports with their own ideas!  This is such a fun unit!

Grab the "Dirt Cup" freebie below and be sure to check out the whole unit, as well!

And for a super-fun, holiday-filled pack of how-to writing, check out this!



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