Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Writing Projects

Since returning from Christmas break we have done LOTS of writing activities.  The first one focused on recalling details from several versions of the popular Ukrainian folktale The Mitten.

Each day we read a slightly different version of the story and wrote about the characters, setting, problem and resolution.  This helped us compare how the stories were the same and how they were different.  We also worked on writing complete sentences by telling about an event that happened at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of each story.

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I had been hoping for a little snow to inspire the next few writing projects . . . but instead we just had to recall some of our past experiences.  Luckily we live in Kansas and we’ve all had the chance to go outside and play in the snow.  This being said, we read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats earlier this week and made a cute little art project that was inspired by the main character.  Then we all wrote about our own snowy day adventures.clip_image005

This week we also did our very first technical writing activity.  We all made a “How To” book on Thursday.  Students seem to do their best writing when they can relate to the subject and can draw on their own experiences. So, building a snowman was the perfect topic. We began by reading The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler. In the story the main character, Little Nell, learned that even though she is little she can do BIG things . . . like build a snowman.

Next we worked together as a class to create a word bank on the Promethean board. This is often helpful for beginning writers.  We left it up so they could refer to it as needed. [clip_image004%255B7%255D.png]

Then students got to work in their books sequencing the four pictures and writing. I encouraged all of them to add details and descriptive words to make their writing more interesting to the reader.clip_image007

As students finished they got to decorate the front of their books with this cute little snowman art project.  I’ve kept the books at school to share with you at conferences.  It’s been so exciting to see how much improvement everyone is making with their writing skills. clip_image002