Moving away from “The Author’s Chair” – Adding value to Share Time
Great post by Beth Moore on wrapping up/starting up units of writing in the primary grades.
As they begin their new unit of writing, Writing About Reading, second grade writers compose letters to their classmates, expressing their opinions about their favorite books and characters. They back those opinions up with evidence from the books. In this classroom, letters are tucked inside those books and placed in a basket for others to read.
Second grade writers celebrate the end of their realistic fiction writing unit by reading their “bedtime” stories to kindergarten buddies. Throughout this unit, writers practiced writing leads in which the characters and setting were introduced. They wrote about real-life problems that are typical of 7 and 8 years old kids and how their characters solved these problems. They stretched out the important parts of their stories using elaboration techniques, such as adding dialogue, characters’ thoughts and feelings, and step-by-step actions. Pretty impressive!
And kindergarten writers celebrate the end of their “Looking Closely – Writing Like a Scientist” unit by sharing their pieces with their second grade mentors. In this unit, kindergarten scientists collected colorful fall leaves and other objects from nature. They examined them carefully, using magnifying glasses, and drew observations by adding as many details as possible. Then, they stretched out shape, size, color, and texture words to describe these objects to help teach their readers. As they stretched out their words like a rubber-band, they wrote down the sounds they heard. They even used some of the sight words they are learning, like “the,” “my,” and “see,” to write sentences such as: I see the red leaf.
First graders are experts at doing lots of things! Read this book to learn how to do gymnastics tricks on a swing. Notice the incredible voice, great content, and the craft this six-year- old writer uses to get her meaning across. And another first grade writer is an expert at reading books during Readiing Workshop. If you read her book, you will know exactly what to do to be an expert reader as well!
Such smart work for our Kindergarten Super Writers in this home stretch of our Looking Closely unit of study in writing! After choosing pieces of writing they want to save, these young authors put Post-it notes on pages where revisions can be made. They are finding pages in their booklets where more details can be added to their pictures and more labels and even sentences can be written to teach readers about their objects.