This lesson continued our capstone work for the unit that we started yesterday. I wanted students to be able to combine their shared research skills (W.1.7) with their knowledge of the structure of a good informational paragraph (W.1.2) to work today on create clear, coherent instructions for how to create a mask. This required students to draw on the research they collaborated on with their peers from the Part 1 lesson along with creating an effective paragraph complete with a topic sentence, well-developed details to lay out the steps to creating the mask, and a closing.
This lesson also allowed for creativity to shine through as students were able to create a carnival mask designed entirely on their own. I chose masks simply because at the textbook selections we were reading at the time were about masks. The lesson can easily be modified to make any craft, simple recipe or a simple science activity.
I started by reminding students about our work that we started yesterday and told them that, today, we would finish our masks and then write our directions to go with our creations.
I allowed students who hadn't finished their masks time to finish them, while I worked with small groups who were done on crafting their paragraphs. Each group was focusing on a skill related to their informational paragraph writing: forming a good topic sentence, developing specific, coherent details to explain the steps for creating their masks, and adding an effective closure.
As students finished their masks, they joined their peers and got started on their paragraphs.
This was one lesson that had that pleasant buzz of productivity that we all strive for because it had so many built in motivators while also being rigorous. To see what I mean, check out the video I took of students as they engaged in independent work.
This closure was a longer one than usual. Because students were so excited to show off their masks and paragraphs explaining how to create their masks, I allowed each student to present by having a friend model their mask while they read their paragraph to the class.
This was a proud, joyous moment in my class that deserved the time.