This is the third lesson in my unit about Introducing Writing in 2nd Grade. I have discussed the types of writing (expository, narrative, and persuasive) as well as the writing process. For a peek at the previous lessons that had these concepts, here are the links: Waldo Says, 'Where's Writing?' and And the Author is... Using Digital Tools in Writing.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Explain the task
The Common Core State Standards are very invested in the students’ ability to create different writing genres. Exposure to these three genres now (expository, narrative, and persuasive) and the introduction of the labels will help the students internalize this vocabulary when they see a variety of writing.
Pass out the journals and explain the parts
Decide where you will keep the journals and what the writing tools you will allow the students to use. I have some funky pens, erasable markers, colored pencils, mechanical pencils, ... things like that. I keep this together with the journal and they are used only for Writers' Workshop.
The goal of this lesson is to answer questions, but it’s also about getting excited about writing. SO many of my kids in the past have not liked to write because they thought it was so hard. For this lesson, I'm trying to rebuild that writing excitement with a shiny new notebook and special writing instruments. I just want them to write about an experience and experience the joy of writing!!!
Look over their journals
Set the task
Monitor students work
Wrap up the lesson
I had originally had other plans to look at some other writing genres, but then I had a change in plan when the kids were done writing because we ran out of time.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson can be easily scaffolded up and down for students of varying academic abilities.
I gave them some extra help to some students as I walked around during writing time. I would ask them questions to help them choose a restaurant and prompt further about ideas of why they like it. Sometimes, we'll 'chop' out words and write them on their slate or I'll write them on the board so the idea generation flows and they don't get caught up in the spelling/writing.
For students with greater writing ability, I can also chat with them as I walk around about using 'juicy' words to describe their favorite place. Instead of 'nice' or 'good', can they use a more descriptive word such as 'delicious' or can they describe a certain food. Set an expectation for them, such as, "I'd like to see 4 really 'juicy' words to describe this place!"