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Teaching Kids to Write About Dinner

A fun writing lesson for kids about dinner?

A fun writing lesson for kids about dinner?

I’m headed off to the classroom today to teach 100 first and second graders what is supposed to be a fun writing lesson.  (Fingers crossed!)

Here’s my plan:

Learning Objectives: This lesson is focused on prewriting and drafting.  My goal is for there to be so much scaffolding that it’s easy for kids to get their initial ideas on paper.

How I’m going to activate prior knowledge: I’ll start with a brief (2 minute) discussion on what dinner is like at their houses.  There’ll be lots of opportunity to complain about their moms’ cooking!

Materials: “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, “A Pizza the Size of a Sun” by Jack Prelutsky,  and Who wants to eat princesses, anyway? by yours truly.  Also, paper plates, markers, pencils, papers and two cans of soup for props.

A fun way to prewrite.

A fun way to prewrite.

The Plan: I’ll show the kids my plate chart, and perhaps draw a giant one on the board.  Then I’ll read small experts from each piece of writing; a chapter book, a poem, and a newspaper column.  After each reading, I’ll show how that gets organized on the plates.

Of course, Laura didn't really write this all by herself.  Thank you Rose Wilder Lane!

Of course, Laura didn’t really write this all by herself. Thank you Rose Wilder Lane!

From “Farmer Boy”: From the chapter “Winter Evening”, the two paragraph description starting with “Almanzo ate the sweet, mellow baked beans”.

Too many feathers to be tasty.

From “A Pizza the Size of a Sun”: The poem “My mother makes me chicken”.

Eating Cinderella would be yucky.

From “Who wants to eat princess, anyway?”: Just a few lines about eating Cinderella vs. eating Agent P.

After the readings: The body of the lesson will be kids getting the plates and organizing their own ideas. This is called prewriting, and I’ll walk around the room and help.  After about 10-15 minutes of prewriting, we’ll move on to drafting.  I’ll pass out some notebook paper and let them start writing.  If we have time, kids will share what they have written during the last five minutes of the lesson.

What about the 5 Step Writing Process?: That would be prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.  I won’t have time to get to all of that in one lesson!  😦  But this will be a good start.