I begin this lesson with the Procedural Text Flipchart. This flipchart guides me to lay the foundation of learning this concepts. Then, we branch off to our focus for today, which is writing procedural text for game instructions. Of course, at this age, the games they are familiar with are not as complex as adult game manuals that is available in the real world. Most technical procedures that students read are specific for their age group. So, for the purposes of this lesson, I collect samples and model steps to more simplistic directions as a foundation to build more complex ones later on. I teach to Common Core standards by building on prior experiences so that students can make connections from concrete to abstract ideas. I have to build this abstract concept based on their real world, their prior experiences, their age group. So, we discuss their knowledge of this type of text and I show students various examples. One example is "How to play Guard the Treasure".
Students work together with a partner to collaborate on ideas for writing an Game Directions. 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 Game Directions in front of them for reference. I printed and brought some examples of Game Directions 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 Game Directions from home. I circulate to assist students as needed.
Once students have a grasp or what the components and features consist of in game instruction, I ask them to create a sample they can late share with the class. Students have access to laptops, articles, books, etc. to assist them in their creation. I facilitate as needed. Students may consult with a shoulder partner at their table if they wish to share ideas. I circulate and make formative assessments from what I see. Usually, I take videos with my flip camera as students work. This is a great assessment tool to measure qualitative data. Assessments often focus only on quantitative data. Qualitative data is what the teacher observes each and every day through student behaviors and interactions. It is significant data because it gives teachers clear understanding of the process of learning, not just the product. I use a procedural rubric as "look fors" as I observe and gather data of student performance. The rubric lists students' ability levels to communicate purpose, sequential steps, clear technical vocabulary, and presentable formatting.
Students were given directions to listen attentively and provide feedback with kind words, but truthful words, after each presentations. We had role played this feedback process earlier. I would recommend the role play so that students have a clear understanding of behavioral expectations. I call it "friendly critique".
Students take turns explaining and elaborating their samples. As evident by his Mine Craft Procedure Presentation, one student found this activity meaningful once it has real world applications. Common core encourages students to think deeper by explaining and elaborating. I videotape these presentations as well. It is also good feedback when students can see themselves present. They can conduct a self-assessment and work on improvements. I tell my students that no one is perfect. We can all improve. Students must understand this in order to have positive attitudes towards learning.