Thursday, March 26, 2015

Informational Writing Part 2!

Hello there!! I blogged a few weeks ago about the changes my kindergarten team and I made to our informational writing unit this year-- writing informational books about each other-- and how we introduced it to our students. {If you missed that post, you can read about it here}Now, I'm ready to share with you all about how the unit went! There's even a freebie for you for making it all the way to the bottom!
My last post was all about how we went through the entire process as a class as we interviewed and wrote a class book about my aide.
Once we were finished writing our class book, it was time to partner up! I let my students choose their own partners so that they were writing about someone that they wanted to write about. Then, just like we did as a class with Mrs. Auger, it was time to interview each other!
Thinking back on this lesson and planning for next year, I am definitely going to have my students create microphones out of toilet paper rolls and tin foil. I thought about this idea way too late to collect enough toilet paper rolls for this project- next year will be a definite though!
So, although we didn't all have fancy, sparkly microphones like we did when we interviewed Mrs. Auger, we did have a fun time interviewing one another. The pairs worked very well together, taking turns interviewing one another, and helping each other write their answers.
After they asked the questions that I gave to them on their interview sheet, each student had an opportunity think about other information that they wanted to include in their book, and write questions to illicit that information from their partner. They all had very interesting questions to ask (What is your favorite minion? <-- There is more than one type of minion?! Who knew!)
Next, it was time to start our rough draft. Each student was allowed to choose the order that they wanted to write their book. I had them use a post it to mark the question that they were working on so that when I went around to conference with them, I knew what they were trying to write. Most of my writers did a fabulous job all on their own!
We worked on our books writers' workshop style for about 2 weeks. Some days I would meet with students who I thought needed some extra guidance on similar things. Other days, I would just walk around the room and conference with those who I needed to check in with. Once someone finished their rough draft, they were ready to write their final copy (and start using the fancy paper, of course!) It was also time for illustrations and neat coloring (most of the time!)
Then to publication we went! I took real photos of everyone to use on their cover because we always talk about how nonfiction books sometimes use real pictures! They were all so proud of their published book when they sat in the author's chair and shared with the class. We even had some great questions and comments from our authors in the audience!
Are you interested in giving this a try in your classroom? Click on the image below to download the graphic organizers that we used for FREE! I am sure that this unit will be a hit with your kiddos as well!
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2 comments:

  1. This looks like great fun and I'm sure the children were super invested! You mentioned that the kids go to pick their own partners...what happens if several kids want the same person and/or if you have an uneven number of children?

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  2. What great questions!! I was fortunate to have an even number of students this year, but one of my teammates did not. She had one of the students write about another aide in her classroom, and the aide wrote about him. Since I only have one aide, I probably would have partnered up with the student myself!

    Also, at the beginning of the year, I taught very specific expectations for choosing partners. The rules are always that you ask by saying "Would you like to be my partner," and the response is always yes unless you already have a partner. Then, you can politely say "I"m sorry, I already have a partner." This has happened a few times, and my kiddos are really great about just finding another person to ask! I was always so worried about this and since I love doing partner work, I found it really important to set these expectations at the very beginning of the year!

    Thanks for asking! :)

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