Saturday, February 21, 2015

Informational Writing in The Primary Grades

Happy Saturday! I am so excited to tell you about what may turn out to be my favorite writing unit of the year! When we began to plan for this unit, I was dreading it! Last year, our curriculum did not align to the CCSS for informational writing, and it was a struggle to figure out what the published product was supposed to look like. This year, we decided to change it up to fit the CCSS {which would make sense, right!?}. After much research, I suggested that the students should write informational books about each other! My team loved the idea, and we are now in the midst of the unit. Here's a peek at how it's going!
Before diving in to having the students interview each other as their "research," we decided to go through the whole process as a class, and write a book about our classroom aides. First, my students brainstormed a list of questions that we should ask Mrs. Auger.
As you can see, they thought of A LOT of questions! This would be a super long book if we included each question, so I narrowed the list down to 5. Then, the students and I interviewed Mrs. Auger {sparkly microphone and all!}.
Then, it was time to start writing! We spent some time discussing how we can take Mrs. Auger's answers and turn them into sentences. I did all of the writing the first day because I am anal and wanted the writing to be perfect. The second day, I got over myself, and decided that it would be way more meaningful if I shared the pen with the students. So, I did! I am SO happy that I decided to do this. My students were SO excited to write on big chart paper and show off their writing skills!
Next up, we needed to switch from the role of authors to the role of illustrators. I let the kids pick their own partners {reminding them, of course, that if someone asks them to be their partner, their answer is always YES unless they already have a partner!}. I did a mini lesson on how the illustrations had to take up the whole page because we're not used to using paper that big, and in no time, they were off doing their sketches!
I was so proud of the DETAIL that each pair put into their illustrations! 
Once they were finished sketching, they were able to start coloring. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary to get them excited for this book, so I let each pair choose one part of their illustration that they wanted to color with marker. They were PUMPED!
I wish you could see their faces and how proud they are of their work! Here are some of the final pages…

 When we were all finished, we discussed what should be on our cover. We decided it would be best to use a real picture of Mrs. Auger, because nonfiction books sometimes have real photographs!
 Now that we finished our class book, my kiddos are so excited to begin interviewing their friends and writing their own book! I know that they will be successful since we've already gone through the process once together! We just started our first day of interviewing, and I can't wait to share the rest of this unit with all of you. Stay tuned!
Happy teaching!
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2 comments:

  1. What a great idea! It's given me some ideas, but it will take us a very long time since I have 30 minutes/2 days a week to do writing with 2 different ELA classes (we're departmentalized). What kind of paper did you use for the books?

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  2. Gina, I LOVE this idea! Such a fun twist on informational writing that the kids are sure to be excited about! We are starting our informational unit in a week and I am definitely working this idea into my plans! :) Thanks for sharing!
    Amber
    Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

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