17 October 2012

How-To Writing

We wrote our How-To's at the very beginning of the year.  It has just taken me a really long time to get around to posting it.  How-To Writing is part of the Lucy Calkin's Units of Study for Primary Writing.  She elaborates about How-to writing in her Nonfiction Writing Unit.  If you are a K-2 teacher looking for fantastic minilessons for writing, then her books are a must read.

I begin my unit on How-To's by explaining that in order to write a How-To, they must be an expert at whatever it is they choose to write about.  I always share my own personal experiences to model that writing has to be about things that come from the heart.  I explain how I am an expert at making banana splits because my very first job was working for Dairy Queen. I share some fun stories about my experiences there and then explain that before we can write a how-to, we must understand the steps to writing a  How-To.  Basically a How-To write a How-To.



After discussing the components of a How-To using the chart above, I then share my own How-To.  My How-To is created on chart paper, so it's large enough for everyone to see.  My example is below.  I have a fantastic student teacher this year, who is also a great artist.  She made me a new chart this year, that turned out super cute.



We talk about each step and I point out that each step is numbered and begins with transition words.  While we go over each of the steps, I have my students copy my example and follow along with me.  I always explain that they are learning how to make a banana split from my How-To.  By the time they finish this lesson, they will be well on their way to being an expert too.


 After we finish working on the How-To together, then they create a cover for their How-To.  I have patterns for students to color to create a cute banana split for the cover. 

 



 After we finish our banana split How-To's, then they are ready to start choosing topics that they are experts at.  I have blank How-To pages for them to write their own How-To's.


In the past, I've made banana splits in class, and then had students go back and write the steps on their own.  I chose to have them write my steps this year, so that they would have a really clear understanding of How-To's before they undertook the task of writing a How-To independently.

If you are interested in this How-To Writing Pack, you can get it in my Teacher Store for $2.50.  It includes the black lines for the How-To Steps.  I simply ran them off on neon card stock.  It also includes the Banana Split How-To paper, the open-ended How-To paper, and the patterns to create the banana split for the cover.  Click on the image below to head on over to my store.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-To-Writing-How-To-Make-a-Banana-Split-372992


4 comments:

  1. Love this! I'm glad you shared this idea before I got to procedural writing in my class. :) Kids sure enjoy writing about food...especially ice cream!

    Jessica
    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those steps are essential, I agree. If you are on the winding path of writing an essay, https://www.ninjaessays.com/write-my-essay/ may stand in a good stead for you. Like with the blade of the knife they use the power of the words to cut in half all your struggles.

    ReplyDelete