Today we get to write. Students will be writing a rough draft of the narrative they began creating with their flow maps yesterday. When they began creating their narratives, they sequenced the major events. Now, they will work on creating a rough draft by participating in the peer editing process. There is also an art project component of the lesson today, which I have added as an extension activity.
For today's lesson the students will need their flow maps from yesterday. You will need to copy enough writing paper, Horizontal Writing Paper, so students can produce both a rough draft and a good copy of their writing.
I pulled up my Smartboard lesson that had my flow map. We numbered our boxes so the students would know (especially my students who struggle with organization) which order to copy their boxes. I've given you a visual of how we did this in a quick video here Numbering Boxes - The Big Circle.
The students received their writing paper. I told them to write only on the front side of the paper, and if they need another piece to ask. We would staple the writing in the correct order at the bottom of the large piece of construction paper when we were putting our entire project together. The children all worked at their own pace to complete their writing.
I have been working hard to make sure my students know how to edit their peers' work constructively this year. We have been doing a great deal of nonfiction writing, and I have modeled how to conduct peer conferencing with each other in our writing units. So my students were already familiar with this process.
Once students were finished, I assigned them a partner and had them go off to a spot in the room to edit. I made a quick checklist for what I expected each piece of writing to have. I explained the checklist, Peer Editing Checklist for the Big Circle, to each partner group before I sent them off to work, which was easy since students all were completing their sloppy copies at their own pace and each partner group came to me at staggered times.
I did have to scaffold for some of my students. Since some struggle with both reading and writing, I brought a small group of them to the back table and we peer edited as a small group. I read each of the components of the checklist and had them look at their peers work under my supervision. There were times when I had to point things out such as, "Is this the beginning of a sentence? Then what should it have?" Scaffolding for students is perfectly fine for those students who need extra support. Editing in small groups is a great way to maximize your time and still accomplish what you need to as well.
Once students had gone through the peer editing process I gave them more writing paper and said, "Now that you've made revisions make sure to include those changes in your good copies" and sent them off to work. I truly wanted to see what students could do on their own, so I let them work and stepped back. This was hard for me since I've been a bit of a control freak in the past but I got through it :)
I wanted to do a quick closure for this part of the lesson because I knew my students were itching to get to the art project. I said, "What did you learn today as you were editing? What does a good piece of writing need to have? Think about your checklist. What else does a good piece of writing need to have? Who would like to share what they helped their partner with to improve their writing?"
You will need to prepare some materials for the students to make their pop up story. Each student will need a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper. You'll also have to prepare some construction paper so students can make the tabs for their pop art art work. I have the directions here How to Prepare Strips for Pop Ups. You'll also need to copy enough clip art so the students can create their art work. I have that for you here The Big Circle Clipart. When students were finished with their writing I gave them an idea of how to set up their pop up book. I reminded them that they had just written that the triceratops herd made a circle to protect the babies. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have their illustration match their writing? Other than that, I let the students have free reign on how to make their art project.
I have a video here Creating The Big Circle.mp4 that has a few snippets of the whole process. I even have a few of my students reading their work.