We continued in our Persuasive Writing Unit. We reviewed how persuasive letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.
Next, we learned that persuasive letters try to make someone agree with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well.
We then realized that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is probably someone at home, not at school.
We also talked about giving good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.
We will continue to send home letters throughout the next week or so, you might receive a letter from your first grader. I encourage you to write them back! If you do, send it along with your child’s letter back to school. We would love to share responses we get with the class!
I also ask that if you receive a letter, make sure they are working for what they ask for! Don’t just let a “please please please” letter convince you. Look for a letter that gives good reasons and ideas before agreeing to what they ask for and a solution of how they can help make this happen. Don’t worry – I also warned them that it is likely that you might not agree with their request!
These letters are so fun to read – first graders sure are creative! Thank you for your help in making this process so fun for these first graders!
We spent time immersing the students with books that model persuasive letter writing. We read some books featuring a homeless dog who tried to persuade people to adopt him. We also read some books about a little boy who is trying to persuade his parents to get him a pet iguana, a new bedroom, and to come home from vacation so he can leave his grandparents’ house. All these books are written with such humor, that they kept us laughing all week. We used these books as a reference as we moved into our persuasive letter writing unit.
The kids noticed that the letters in the books had some things in common. One thing we noticed about persuasive letters was that the best letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place. We brainstormed some ways we could help make our school a better place to learn. We will keep adding to this list each day.
This week in writing we continued working on our How To’s! We worked on picking out a strong topic that we know a lot about and then planning out our How To by sketching out the steps. Then, we focused on the attributes of a good introduction and conclusion.
The first graders are coming up with really cool and detailed How To’s. Next week we will work on fixing up our How To’s and celebrating them!!
We are just getting started with a new writing unit: How To! We noticed this week that How To writing teaches us how to do something.
We then practiced writing a How To as a whole class. We wrote How To WALK IN THE HALL. As a class we thought of all the materials you would need and the steps in order. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out.
We want to make sure that what we are writing about is something we know how to do before we start. We need your help! This weekend, please brainstorm with your First Grader about some topics that they know how to do. Some ideas included might include…
-How to build a snowman
-How to jump rope
-How to play with your dog
-How to take care of your pet
-How to play tic, tac, toe
-How to brush your teeth
We will create a class list of ideas on Monday! I can’t wait to hear all the good ideas!
This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out a story that we are very proud of to revise on our own and to check for all the parts of a good small moment story. Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read. After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Thursday, we celebrated!
During our celebration time, we had a chance to add a cover to our story and share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.
We focused on making our stories easy for other people to read, this week. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly.
We spent time practicing putting capitals in the right places – we focused on making sure to capitalize the letter I when we talk about ourselves. We are encouraging our writers to be careful not to add capital letters to all their words (which is common for beginning writers). We will continue to build on where to add capitals and punctuation throughout the school year.
This week, we took time to remember all that we’ve learned about small moment narrative stories. We made a chart with the class to list all the things they should be adding to each of their stories to make their story the best small moment story they know how to write.
We challenged the class to see if they could start a new story and add all these things to their story. We collected the story and will send it home to share with you. When you see it come home, have your child read it to you and see if they can point out the different parts of the chart that they added to their own story!
We continued to work on writing small moment stories during our writers workshop. This week, we learned that great writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:
By including the 3 W’s on our first page, our writing is clear, detailed, and paints a picture for the reader. For example:
My family went for a bike ride around our neighborhood.
Our class ate two Oreos in the classroom.
We also focused on making our stories easier to read. We introduced the strategy of using a word wall to access frequently used words and spell them correctly in our stories.
This week, we continued to add details to our stories that bring our stories to life. We worked on adding tiny steps to our stories and telling them one step at a time, instead of zooming through all the parts.
We also learned this week, how to finish our stories with a special ending by adding our feelings or thoughts. We talked about how when you give a gift, you finish by wrapping it up and tying a bow. Stories are similar, our endings help “tie a bow” to our stories and help the reader know that our story is finished. We talked about how sharing some thoughts or feelings at the end of our story is a good way to finish.