Taking Writing Step-By-Step

Kindergarten students learn about nonfiction writing by creating “how-to” books.

Do you need to know how to cook a hot dog? What about how to make a fire? Don’t worry, our kindergarten students have you covered with their self-written “how-to” books.

As part of their current writing workshop unit, Kate Strickland and Catherine Hathaway’s kindergarten classes have been studying nonfiction writing. To apply the concepts they learned, each student was instructed to choose a topic on which he or she would write and illustrate his or her own how-to book. Students were advised to only select a topic that he or she has experienced—such as how to play soccer or how to make spaghetti—in order to write the steps as accurately as possible.

The most challenging part for students, according to the teachers, was learning how to break down each step associated with a task and put them in the correct order. To help give them an example, Mrs. Hathaway made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with her class and verbally went over each step with them.

“Up until this point, the students have been writing fictional stories all on one piece of paper,” Mrs. Hathaway said. “Now, we’re asking them to spread it out and write each individual step on one page to make a book, so they had to make sure everything was in the correct order.”

Mrs. Strickland had her students write out all of the steps first and then put them in the correct order, while Mrs. Hathaway’s students numbered their blank pages first and then wrote each step on the corresponding page.

“It was a good exercise in sequencing and realizing that, even with a nonfiction piece, everything has to have a beginning, middle, and end,” Mrs. Strickland said.

The students shared their illustrated books with their fourth-grade reading buddies as well as with their special guests during Lower School Grandparents and Special Friends day on Friday, May 12. Afterwards, students took their books home so they could admire their work with their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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