A procedure text lists action steps to accomplish a goal. Recipes, instruction manuals, game directions, technical manuals, and science experiments are examples of this genre. Students are most familiar with recipes, so that is where I begin this unit to introduce this type of text. To teach to the Common Core, I like to relate learning with real world experiences. Recipes are part of my students' every day life, so learning about them is a relevant starting point.
Exploring and writing recipes also helps students to make connections how steps relate to each other to reach an ultimate product or goal. By becoming authors of procedural texts, students experience writing for a purpose. This conceptual knowledge can be scaffolded to build understanding of other types of informational texts. Students learn to analyze informational text for its organization and content. As writers, they learn to convey complex ideas and information clearly and precisely.
To begin the lesson, we follow the Procedural Text Flip chart to guide instruction for this lesson. The flip chart describes the goal for this unit: Students will explain and interpret information in procedural text effectively. This goal supports Common Core by guiding students to make connections with steps in a technical procedure in text.
Students begin discussing what they already know about procedural text. Most students know they exist, but have not examined them thoroughly. So, we are deepening our knowledge today by analyzing the components that make up a procedural text, with a focus on how the steps relate to each other and connect. I share a sample recipe for Making Lemonade, since we will focus on writing Recipes today.
Students analyze the features of sample recipes I bring to class to share. Students read a sample recipe to a partner and analyze the text to identify effective ways the author organized the content. Afterwards, we share our findings with the class by discuss the common components: list of ingredients, directions listed in sequential order, and a picture or photograph of the final product.
Then students work on their own recipe creations at their desks. I distribute a Recipe Template so students can graphically organize and mind map their ideas and steps. They have access to laptops and text I place strategically around the classroom. Instead of front loading students with too much information, I create a print rich environment and bring literature that fits the topic of study periodically into our classroom library. Prior to this lesson, I made sure that the class library is stocked with various recipe books and samples available for students to review. Students also bring books and magazines from home to place in their book bins. These materials are readily available to students. Giving students opportunities to interact with text independently or collaboratively, gradually release ownership of this activity to them.
Students gather together to share their recipes. These procedures should be clear so that the audience can replicate the steps. After each presentation, students discuss the clarity of the directions and make suggestions as needed. Quite a few students were able to write recipes from memory by watching their parents in the kitchen. This lesson has its real world applications suitable for Common Core learning. Student shared many recipe ideas both verbally and visually: