If you read through my reflection in this section you will see that I saw a need for creating this lesson within this unit based on my student's areas of growth in their last writing project. So today we are going to focus on a variety of ways of writing introductory sentences.
For this lesson you will need the Smartboard lesson, your planning paper for making amazing introductory sentences and enough flow maps for each student. They will be writing their introductory sentences in the first box on the flow map. You will also need to make copies of the book mark that lists the different choices the students can use to make their introductory sentences.
This lesson actually took me several days to get through. I only have about 30 minutes a day to teach writing. Don't feel as if you have to get through the whole lesson all in one day. You can adjust this lesson based on your needs.
Today's lesson addresses standard W1.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure. In the first few sentences of a story, the author has to name their topic in order for the reader to understand what they are going to be learning in the piece they read. Just because we are writing expository text doesn't mean what we write has to be dry and boring. The introduction of the story not only has to tell the reader what they are going to be learning, but it also has to be engaging and "hook" the reader. Otherwise, the reader is going to put the text down either from lack of interest, or sheer boredom.
We went through the activities on the Smartboard lesson. My students learned what onomatopoeia was, how to make a riddle, how to ask our audience a question and state their opinions about an animal. We did spend most of our time on our planner to use different parts of speech to make an amazing introductory sentence. My students already know what verbs and nouns are and the way I have structured the planner I could teach them a little bit about adverbs, prepositional phrases, and verb phrases without them having to be experts on these skills. You can check out my video for how I've structured this planner. It gives the students a way to make a sentence that ends up having some really complex text.
For this part of the lesson, all you need to do is follow the pages on the Smartboard lesson and do the activities. Encourage student participation and your students will be actively engaged. I chose to call all the students to the carpet and participate as a group.
In this part of the lesson, students are learning specific strategies to create an introduction to their stories. There were several strategies I had students work on. I had students write onomatopoeias for different animals, and had them state a feeling about an animal and write it on the board. My students also wrote questions about animals such as "Have you ever wondered how many bones are in an animals neck?", and they also learned how to invite their audience to come and learn along with them.
The sentence planner resource utilizes different parts of speech. When we came to the planner I passed the papers out for each of my students and we practiced a few sentences about crabs together. When they went back to their seats to create their introductions, they had a few sentences to choose from if they wanted to include a sentence planner sentence in their introduction.
Now my students took the time to create their own introductory sentences. I made a book mark like reference card for each of my students and handed it out to them. I also gave them their flow map and said, "Now we are only going to write our introductory sentences. You have your bookmark that lists all the different ways you can make your introductory sentences. You are the author of your own story. Go and craft your introduction like you want to. I walked around the classroom and videotaped my students working. There is a video here in the resource section for you to view so you can see how this activity might look like in your own classroom.
I summed up our lesson by saying, "I am so proud of this class. As I was walking around the room. I can see how much your introductions have improved since our last project. Did you like being able to choose from a list of ways to make your introductions? Tomorrow we will continue to write our stories using our flow maps. "