Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How To Build A Snowman

Earlier this school year, we dove head first into informational text when we studied whales and wrote an All About Whales text as a class. We are currently in the middle of our second go-around with informational writing. This time, we are writing HOW TO BOOKS and what do Wisconsinite children know better than HOW TO BUILD A SNOWMAN??

When we studied whales, we started to talk about nonfiction text features like headings, table of contents, labels, and key words. We put up little posters of those text features on one of our bulletin boards and the students refer to them frequently when we read texts in class. They had a field day referring to our posters as we read some "how-to" mentor texts this week. Here is a peek at our Text Features bulletin board and a LINK TO THE POSTERS. Freebie from Deana Kahlenberg of Primary Punch! They are fabulous!

Day One of How-To Writing:
We read several mentor texts for how-to books and made this anchor chart. We discussed the use of transition words and then went back in our mentor texts to find as many as we could!

Day Two:
After reading another mentor text about how to make a bird feeder, I told the kiddos that we would be making our own how-to books about How to Build a Snowman. Wow, were they excited!! I paired the kids up on the carpet and they brainstormed all of the materials that someone would need to build a snowman. After a few minutes, students shared their materials and helped to create the materials page for our plans. (Students were very adamant that all snowmen need boots... proof of their enthusiasm to CREATE... although it seemed to me that they were grasping at straws to add to our poster)

Day Three:
Beginning to write the steps of our how-to book, focusing on details and transition words!

Day Four:
Finished writing the steps! We went back through our writing to check for capital letters, periods, commas, and transition words in each sentence.

Days Five - Finish

Now, we are moving onto the students re-writing our shared text in their own How to Build a Snowman mini-book. We will be working on creating pictures that match our words. We will also put labels on the pages. My students are always asking if they get to "take it home" for just about everything that we do in class and they can't wait to re-write and illustrate their own how-to book! Here's a blank copy of our HOW TO BUILD A SNOWMAN book. I can't wait to see their finished products!!

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