Saturday, March 17, 2012

Writing Workshop Showing not Telling

An ongoing lesson in kindergarten is to tell how you are feeling and to try to get students to go beyond I was happy. It was fun. I went home. At this point in the year, I am trying to gets students to tell more details.

We made a strong feelings chart last week and now we are working on what the feeling looks like and sounds like.  We played charades using our bodies and trying to guess the feeling. I love The Bad Mood! It is the perfect book to show feelings and have students make predictions about the ending.

Quick Thought

I know Showing our feelings are BIG ideas for kindergarten. This lesson is planting the seed for what good writers do.
Below is the first chart we started at the beginning of the week. 
We revisited this chart often adding to it.

What would a person do, act or say if they were
Next, I had the student work in small groups and focused on one feeling in the small group. 

The groups came back and reported to the class. 

They had to make the feeling face in the circle at the top. 

You can find this sheet download below. 
click here for the feelings sheets

Creating our class anchor chart 
 You can see the finished chart. 

On a different day, we worked on 
creating showing sentences below. 
(Anchor Chart)

It was the first day of school, I felt happy.
I lost my mom I was sad.

It is important for students to see me crossing out words that don't belong or that we have changed.  I want my students to be doing this kind of thinking in their work. 

I love the last sentence a child shared, 

It was the first day of school I thought It was going to be perfect until my mom left. I cried. 

The sentence about is an excellent example of what voice sounds like in kindergarten!

The purpose of this lesson was to focus on showing our feelings, but we also worked on rereading our work, adding missing words with a karat,  dialogue and what voice sound like in a story.
(over the course of many days)

Showing Chart for Feelings


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I LOVE this whole post! I think it is so informative and showing each aspect of your teaching each day really helps show the process!

    Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing!

    Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

  3. What a great post! We have weaved feelings throughout the year with character ed and recently inferring! I love your ideas for revisiting feelings to enrich their writing! Love the small group work too! Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Krull
    Of Primary Importance

  4. Thanks for your wonderful comments!

  5. This is perfect! I've always struggled with the showing, not telling lessons. I'm definitely adding this to my arsenal. Thanks!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  6. Great pictures and explanations. I love this lesson. Thanks!

    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  7. Oh my goodness! I love your blog. I have been following for a while and love everything you post. You are so helpful with Writer's Workshop. Thank you so much!

    Sprinkles to Kindergarten

  8. Great ideas! We introduced feelings earlier this year and talked about how sharing these feelings with your reader is a gift. I love this for expanding that idea and focusing on the show, not tell of good writing. Thanks!

    Primarily Primary

  9. Thanks for all the wonderful comments! Melissa

  10. You are making me a better teacher! Thanks for inspiring so many great writing ideas for me and my students!

  11. Colleen, I am so glad you are finding this useful!! Have a wonderful weekend! Melissa

  12. Great idea! I would change 'act' to 'think', since 'act' and 'do' are very similar. So it then becomes: 'do, think, say'. I will definitely be trying it out in class. Thank you for the ideas : )

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