Engaging Young Writers Chapter 3
Welcome back for Chapter 3 of our Engaging Young Writer’s book study! I am learning lots of new ideas and “entry points” to help even my most reluctant writers catch and keep the writing bug.
Here are the questions for this week:
My school is an IB World School, so we are often looking at our studies from a global perspective (that can include our school; outside our 4 walls, our community, city, state, country, and world). One of my favorite studies this time of year is learning about where our food comes from. Each one of my students pick their favorite food providing animal, “research it” (through different resources; in print, online, talking with experts, etc.) and then write a booklet about it to share their learning with others. This activity is always a great entry point for my reluctant writers; they love to pick their favorite farm animal to learn more about it.
To add a twist to this writing activity this year, we are also going to participate in a barnyard related performance for our families. Each classroom is going to pick a farm animal, learn all about it through research, and share that learning with their families during this performance. They will also create small paintings of our chosen animal and we will “auction” them off for $5-$10 each to their families. The money we collect will go towards purchasing the animal we studied about for a family through Heifer International. My students will have several entry points during this activity to share their knowledge! In addition, we will also visit a dairy farm and our state fair grounds to learn more about these farm animals and see them in real life!
Although we will choose an animal to write about as a class, my students will have the opportunity each and every day to become an expert on one (or more) of these animals. They can choose to create and start a new booklet whenever they choose to move on to the next animal, or they can create more complex, in-depth texts about one animal.
This will look very different for each of my writers because we have a wide range of skill levels! Some children will write a book using only illustrations, some will include illustrations and beginning or ending sounds. Some will make lists and my higher students will have 1-3 sentences per page in their booklets.
We will include our books in our Informational Text/Research Writing unit and work on them for 4-6 weeks as we continue to gather more information through our whole group, small group, and field trip studies.