Today the class brainstormed ideas about what to say in our very important letters to Santa. The students were challenged to include a bold beginning lead, mighty middle with details and an excellent ending to wrap up the letter.
I use 6+1 Traits for my writing instruction to supplement the program the district has purchased. We are working on the traits organization and word choice with our letters. I will also include a mini-lesson on voice. This is the perfect assignment for that! Kids say the cutest things! I just love reading their Santa letters!
The students made a quick foldable to help them to visualize organization in a friendly letter. It was a blank sheet of paper with both ends folded into the middle. The center is wider and helps them to see that the body should be a little bit longer than the the introduction and conclusion.
Tomorrow, I will model with this letter that I wrote. I try not to give many examples when we pre-write because I have found that it stifles their creativity.
We are going to do a guided highlighted reading activity with this sample. The focus will be on identifying details, examples and descriptive words in the writing. Then we will discuss ways to improve this piece. The students will then add carets to their own writing to insert more detail.
The guided highlighted activity will go something like this:
In the introduction, highlight the words that tell what kind of person I am trying to be.
Highlight the word that tells what kind of cookies I am leaving for Santa.
The next day the class will label the parts of a friendly letter in red colored pencil. I love the use of color in any learning activity!
The following day, they will write a sloppy copy or draft of the Santa letter on the same stationery that will be used for publishing. I have found that it helps the kiddos to see the size of the lines they are given and the length of the expected writing. Of course, those that need it will get a second back page!
They will revise and peer edit for correct conventions that same day. It will go home as homework to sit with a parent and do a final revision so parents help correct spelling on some of the games and toys I have never heard of!
The plan is to publish the letters on special Santa paper and mount them on construction paper for a nice presentation. I always like to add some clear glitter to the beard for a magical touch!
We also started compiling an A-Z list to help with our computer lab activity. The students will work on keyboarding skills and changing font and font color. Then they will insert clip art.
It will look something like this only cuter!
The ABC's of December
A is for antlers
B is for bells
C is for carolers
D is for Dasher
and so on!
Good luck with z! Any suggestions would be welcome!
I have randomly selected two lovely bloggers from the last post to preview my new writing and word work packet for the holidays! Congrats to Kim and Kelly and Rachael! Ladies, check your emails! Hope you find some good activities to use with your class!