Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seuss-Tastic Writing and a Freebie

What would it be like if Thing One and Thing Two came to visit a classroom of second graders? The 7-8 year olds I taught today had some very interesting things to suggest! After talking to their teacher last week, I designed a writing lesson to go along with Read Across America week and taught in her classroom today. It was so much fun getting to see the students share ideas, talk to one another, and make connections from the story The Cat in the Hat to their own writing.

Here's how it went:
The goal was to teach students that we can look at the way an author organizes his/her text and use that same structure in our own writing. We were focusing on sequence (CC.W.2.3) for our text structure and used The Cat in the Hat as our anchor text. As we read and looked at the pictures we talked about what the author did (not just what he said). He introduced characters, told us where they were, and set up a problem and solution.  I jotted these ideas on the Promethean flipchart I made:


 Next, we talked about the story elements and the sequence of events in our model text:

Then I gave students a copy of this organizer and we looked at our prompt. Students did lots of talking to partners and with table groups about possibilities for the story. We worked on the planning process together.

I gave students the writing paper and we wrote the beginning of the piece together. (Note to self: Second graders don't write as fast as I do. It's okay to slow down.) We focused on looking back at how our mentor text began and we used that as an example for writing our own beginning. I also modeled looking back at my organizer when it came time to write the middle and ending. And of course, we had to color the Things and add pictures to the stories when they finished writing!

Overall, I thought it was a really great experience! Students wrote in sequence and noticed the author's structure and applied it to their own writing. If I had it to do again I think I would do this over a series of days. It took us about an hour, but it really didn't seem to take that long because there were so many elements that were involved...reading, writing, listening, speaking, partner talk, group talk, jotting then sharing...

And here you have it--your reward for reading all the way to the end (or just scrolling). Either way, here are the materials I made to go with the lesson. Enjoy!



5 comments:

Amna said...

Love it all! I tried to download the link but it needs permission to access.

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