Friday, January 25, 2013

Informational Writing--How-to Books

In February, many kindergarten classrooms will be working on the unit of study for informational writing. The focus of this unit will be How-To books. This is building on the progression of this type of nonfiction writing. It is amazing what these little ones can do when we raise our expectations.

The first resource I would like to give teachers is the All Write website. If you click on the previous words you will go to a series of lessons on How-To writing for K-2. This comes from the website. Since the lessons are written for several grade levels, the teachers will need to make them fit their students. The other resource would be the Lucy Calkins set of units of study for primary. It is on nonfiction writing and has a section on the how-to writing. There is also available in that set various types of paper the children can use for this writing. However, for the little ones in kindergarten, it might be helpful to use a page for each step of the procedure they are writing.

A few books that I would recommend for writing step-by-step books are:
  • Goodtime Cookbook For Boys & Girls by John Mongillo  It has everything from making celery sticks to sweet potato balls. It gives What You Need and also What to Do.  A great way to share procedural writing.
  • Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. This book is not an actual step by step book, but shows students how things need to be first, second, next, and last.
  • How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson. This twist on how to do something is a funny book with great illustrations. It is a six-step way to lose friends.
  • 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster by Laura Numeroff. This is another twist on the how to book idea. It gives steps such as Feeding Your Monster and Going Places With Your Monster.
  • Many of Gail Gibbons' books have a section in them about how to do something. They are also great resources.
Hopefully, these books will become touchstone texts for your students to model their own writing!

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