Thursday, January 15, 2015

How To Writing With Thinking Maps

This week I began procedural writing with my students. I decided to kick off this unit by using thinking maps.

Prior to this lesson, the students were told that they were going to be learning about How To Writing.

How to stories teach someone how to do something. Right away students came up with some ideas.

One boy said, "I can write a How to Play Basketball."
Another, "I can teach how to play football."

Step #1
We began by filling in a Circle Map Getting Ready for School. Each child worked on their Thinking map.

Starting with the Circle Map allowed the students to think about what they do in the morning without having to worry about sequencing or writing the words.

The students came back to the rug and shared the different things they do in the morning to get ready for school.
We made a class Flow map on How to Get Ready for School.
During this part of the lesson, we shared what was on our Circle Maps and what order the day goes for most of us. We agreed on most of the steps. Students were told that they would have the opportunity to write their own How To Get Ready for School book and they would include more details in their stories.

We labeled our Flow map with action words. We read a book called Verbs by Kate Biggs.

Step #4
We shared different ideas for How To stories. Students filled in a How To sheet.
Click here to see their ideas. My favorite is How to go bird watching.

The following day the students each wrote a How To Get To School book. Tony Stead always has you start the unit by everyone writing the same topic together. I think using Thinking Maps prior to the writing was beneficial for helping students organize their thoughts.

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