Beginning this lesson with my Procedural Text Flipchart lays the foundation of today's focus. Today's focus is writing assembly manuals. Students are most familiar with toy manuals. I bring in samples of assembly manuals to share: furniture assembly, toy assembly, fence assembly, etc. I try to collect real world manuals that students might have seen around their house, but did not pay particular attention to. Now, they have to look closer at these manuals and find common features among them. I am sure that when they return home, they will pay particular attention the next time Dad assembles a piece of furniture. This is what Common Core refers to as real world experiences and applications. At the conclusion of this lesson, we examine a sample assembly manual on How to make a Lego Castle.
Students work together with a partner to collaborate on ideas for writing an assembly manual. I distribute a Step by Step Process Organizer and a Planning Sheet that students use to map their thoughts and ideas. The planning sheet guides students to write to a target audience so students write in a language their readers can easily understand, instead of being too technical. Students also have samples of Assembly Manuals in front of them for reference. I printed and brought some examples of Assembly Manuals so students can also look at hard copies that are more tangible and concrete for them to analyze. Students can also bring their sample of an Assembly Manual from home. I circulate to assist students as needed.
Students work on their samples with a partner. Most students I observed chose to write about assembling their favorite game. Students have access to sample texts and digital resource. Laptops are readily available for them to research during their work. I am recording them as I circulate and gathering qualitative data with my flip camera. The videos I take gives me insight on my students' needs and ideas to differentiate my lessons to fit their needs.
As predicted, most students wrote about toy assemblies. At their age, they have not had much experience assembling furniture or appliances. However, I am sure that giving students exposure to this type of procedural text will build curiosity and prompt students to share experiences in assembling or watching their parents assemble with a more critical eye. Because of their age group, I am laying the foundation of what will be considered prior experiences in later grades, as Common Core encourages. As evident in student artifacts,Lego Man Assembly, and oral presentations, Lego Man Assembly Presentation, I notice that students are very detailed about their Procedural Text on assembling.