I just can’t handle that glazed over look that many kiddos get during the writing block. It breaks my heart. Writing is by far my FAVORITE THING to teach and it was the crux of my first degree – Journalism. There is something about playing with words that pumps me up . . . and I want my students to experience this feeling too.
Let’s face it . . . writing is HARD for kids of all ages. (Heck, it can even be hard for me at times.) To help combat this classroom/student reality, I began developing writing activities for my first graders to help mask this feeling. I found that if you “sell the sizzle” of writing, your babes are much more likely to stay “with you” throughout lessons. And, most kids find the whole process rather enjoyable. Okay, so that is a BIG statement to make. However, I have developed a method that eliminates those moans and groans when you utter the words, “writing time!” I present to you my latest packet . . . Super Sentence Writers.
Over the years, I have continued to put myself in the wet-laced sneakers of a kiddo. I think about what would draw me into the writing process and things that would excite me. I also put myself a pair of lovely teacher Tieks. I ponder the things that I want to get out of my writing lessons and the kind of writers I would like to see in class. This combo has produced a pretty out of the box packet that has been tested and reworked for the past 8 years. Boy . . . that was a really LONG way to say . . . here’s how I roll 🙂
We always begin on the ground floor — pocket chart style. We build basic sentences together and talk about the elements that every sentence needs.
Instead of running with the standard subject and predicate dance, we call this THE WHO and THE WHAT in our room. Sure, I use the high level terms interchangeably, but it is so much more fun and meaningful to kids with this crazy twist. If you know me, you know that I use silly voices and sound effects in a bunch of my lessons. This one isn’t any different . . . hehehehehe!
We transition into shared writing lessons. Kiddos volunteer to help add the predicate (WHAT) to the subject of the day (WHO). We wrote about fat cats and smelly teachers last week. You could hear a pin drop and they were right there “with me” the whole stinkin’ time. They got to create their own final sentence . . . they made me giggle. #teacherdream
|I let my babes be wild.
Picking noses, burping, and puking is okay in the name of good sentences.
Wanna try one of these in your room?? Here’s a freebie Super Sentence shared writing page. CLICK HERE to grab a copy 🙂
|As stated above, I like to complete the first two sentences together.
I let ’em fly on the last one and they share their creations 🙂
Thanks for the graphic, Melonheadz!
After a few of these, I let the reins out a bit more and we start running with our own adjectives. Things get crazy . . . the kids are all about using the wildest description possible! (You can bet that I encourage it . . . silly always seems to sell a lesson in my room. Things can get serious once they can construct a quality detailed sentence.)
I toss in lots of fun activities to help mix things up. They build on one another to help hone those super sentence skills. This year I added a couple of new things to the packet that I cannot wait to try!!! I am chompin’ at the bit to get to the team sentence sort and the Finish My Thought game (a quick time filler activity that provides a portion of the sentence — the kids have to orally add what’s missing).
My favorite activity in the packet is new to my plans as well. I can already see the “writing on the wall” with this one. The kids are going to eat this up (and so will I . . . hehehehe).