Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How-To-Writing FREEBIE

Teacher Appreciation & How-To Writing [Freebie]

I’m sure you all know that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week! Over the past two days, I’ve been showered with flowers and chocolate. Let’s just say that I’ll be VERY busy the next few days writing out Thank Yous. So, I’ve decided to cheat, just this once, and create a generic fill-in the blank Thank You. I feel guilty, but normally I write out all of my Thank Yous by hand, so I’m trying to be okay with it!

            Moving on to How-To writing... I started a how-to unit yesterday, and so far it’s going well! I introduced How-To writing by first accessing my students’ prior knowledge and creating an anchor chart. I then used one of my favorite How-To books: I Can Draw People by Ray Gibson. I was introduced to this book my first year teaching, when I participated in a Writing FUNdamentals Pilot Program. I showed the students the book and pointed out the text features, and made note of the author’s use of visual and written cues. I then walked the kids through the directions of How-To Draw Faces. After they had each drawn a few faces, I let them loose. I had already copied and laminated some of the book pages, from previous years. I passed those out to the tables for students to practice drawing ballerinas, skiers, soccer players, parachutists, scuba divers, and figure skaters. Needless to say- they LOVED it!

            Today we picked back up with How-To writing, by writing out steps for How-To Make a Bowl of Cereal. We did this at the carpet, and I modeled how to actually make a bowl of cereal. The kids liked experiencing the How-To process first hand, and were able to use the model to help visualize the steps in sequence. After our whole class How-To, I pulled students in small groups to the reading table for some more How-To writing. (I went to Dollar Tree yesterday and grabbed five small bottles of bubbles.) The students were then able to explore and write How To Blow a Bubble. Once they finished their writing, they followed their steps and blew bubbles in the classroom. It was a BLAST!! 

            I’ve attached a link to my How To Blow a Bubble worksheet, feel free to download it and use it with your kids. It could also be used for writing how to blow a bubble with gum. 


  1. Sounds like fun! Simple but powerful!

  2. I really like how you not only provide the resource but you list ways for other teachers to differentiate the activity for their own students!