Story Workshop

We Are Writers!

We gathered to brainstorm what makes us writers.

  • What do writers do?
  • How are WE writers?

The children shared their ideas, and we documented their thinking on chart paper.

When we write we can:

  • talk about writing
  • write in different languages
  • tell people ‘how to’ do things
  • make books to tell people about ‘real’ things (what is inside a fish)
  • tell true or imaginary stories
  • make books
  • use
    • finger spaces
    • punctuation
    • capital letters for names and at the beginning of a sentence
    • quotation makes
    • speech bubbles
  • tell about things that happened a long time ago (dinosaurs)
  • use words and pictures
  • use paper, notepads, paper and books
  • write with pens, markers and pencils

 

What is Story Workshop?

The writers were introduced to Story Workshop. Story Workshop is a classroom structure that is used to support language and literacy. The adults consider the space, environment, story materials, writing tools, books and props that invite storytelling.

The arrangements of materials inspire storytelling, conversation, imagination concentration, negotiation and investigation. The ‘play’ with materials helps the writers use writing tools to share their ideas using marks, pictures, symbols, words and sentences. The active engagement encourages the writers to write and create complex stories.

The writers may have individual or group workspaces to help them explore a range of materials. A workspace or placemat helps anchor the writer’s workspace so that they can manage and co create stories alongside or with others. Writers are encouraged to record stories using pencil and paper, which can be collated into books.

Writing tools and materials that support writing were discussed.

Writers in K2 have access to these materials throughout the day to help them explore writing for different purposes.

Book Making: Making choices about the paper.

We have been reading many different picture books over the last few weeks. We have begun to notice the different ways authors and illustrators create books.  We read the book ‘Andrew Drew and Drew by author and illustrator BARNEY SALTZBERG.

This is a story about a little boy who has a lead pencil and white paper. Andrew, the character in the story, loves to ‘doodle’ with a standard pencil. Andrew appears on the pages, using his imagination to draw and create on paper. Some pages are the same width as the cover, others narrower or wider, turning over or folding out to change a drawing’s meaning.

His abstract lines become a kite and then a rocket, or steps that turn into a dinosaur!

The students were invited to explore some of the different techniques Barney Saltzberg used to create his book.

  • What ideas could we use from Barney Saltzberg’s book?
  • How might this inspire our own book creations?
  • What imaginative stories could we create?

Writing Workshop

We began Writing Workshop with a story by David Shannon titled ‘NO, David!’.

We paid attention to how the author and illustrator used words and details in his pictures to share many different events. We noted how the story is written across many pages. The children laughed at the illustrations and joined in to read the words.

Next, the children were invited to create their own story. They were given a choice of paper and books.

The children got to work, drawing, colouring and writing to create and share their own stories. As they created their books, they talked to each other about the characters, events and settings. The adults listened and discussed the children’s ideas, and made suggestions about possible ‘next steps’.

Then, the children prepared their Writer’s Workshop Folder. They pasted a ‘RED‘ sticker on one side to save the ‘completed’ pieces of writing, and a ‘GREEN’ sticker to save the ‘work in progress’.

The children will revisit their work to either continue their writing or make new pieces of work.

Thorough ‘Writing Workshop‘, the children:

  • use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, or to tell a story.
  • with guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Powerful Messages about Waste

How might we communicate a powerful message?

How might powerful images communicate important information? 

The students were invited to create the own powerful messages. They used their notes from previous research to think about the important information they wanted to share with others. The students were encouraged to reflect on the issue of ‘waste‘, and think about the action they could take as a result of their learning.

The students went through the writing process to create a first draft. Then, they revised and edited their writing in order to publish their final piece of work. Next, a drawing that communicated a powerful message was created. Finally, we used a green screen to produce a video. The students continued to work on speaking confidently, expressing ideas and information in order to inform and engage an audience.

Parts of Speech

We looked at the parts of speech that help us visualise and build complete sentences with lots of information. The students worked together to craft a sentence. Then, they used coloured tiles to represent the different parts of speech. 

Next, the students worked in groups to practice this skill which can be used when they redraft and edit their writing and when they plan for speaking.

Structures Around the World

The students have been exploring shapes in structures. We wondered what we already know about these structures. The students worked in groups to share their ideas.

  • What do you already know about these structures?
  • What questions do you have? 

Group A Brainstorm 

What we already know about these structures:

  • These structures are tall.
  • They are all popular structures.
  • These structures are in different countries.
  • Bridges go across the water. They help people go across from one side to the other.
  • The bridges are tall, because if the water comes up then the cars will go under the water, so they need to be tall.
  • They use hard things like metal and brick because they are strong and the people and cars will not drown in the water.
  • The bridge is made out of metal and concrete. Concrete is very hard so the car can go on it.
  • We use iron because it is hard.
  • They might use bricks and metal.
  • Some structures might be made of one material.

Questions we have about these structures:

  • What are these structures (structure 1)?
  • What did they use to make these structures?
  • Where, or what country is the first structure in?
  • How are structures made?
  • What materials were used to make the Eiffel tower?

Group B Brainstorm 

What we already know about these structures:

  • My structure is a bridge. A bridge helps people to cross the river.
  • All these structures are made of different shapes, like sphere, triangle, rectangle, rectangular prism, circle etc.
  • We need to use technology to build these structures. They help our life. We work more easily. A sailboat helps us to go across waters.
  • These structures are located in different places.
  • The spaceship helps us to go to the outer space so we can see things in the outer space.
  • They all look special.
  • They are different in shapes, they are made by different people in different places of the world, and they can look complicated using tricky shapes.
  • Some of them are big and some of them are high.
  • They are all famous, pretty, and unusual structures. People talk to each other about them so more and more people get to know these structures.
  • They have different shapes and different colours to make them more pretty. They do not use too many colours because that would make people dizzy.

Questions we have about these structures:

  • Why do people build these structures?
  • What do people do on the structures?
  • Why are some of the structures big?
  • What do people need structures for?
  • How can the people build a bridge across the river?
  • How do these structures help us?
  • Why do these structures look so difficult? How can they build such difficult structures?

Group C Brainstorm 

What we already know about these structures:

  • Some of the buildings are big and tall.
  • Some of the buildings have spheres.
  • I know they are tall buildings because I saw a tower line the one with the circles (3).
  • These are made out of shapes like cylinders, cones and cubes.
  • I know they are made of different sizes and many people can visit them. I think they are very tall and everyone wants to see it.
  • The building (3) has very funny shapes, this building is in China.
  • All buildings are made out of concrete. Concrete is like cement. Cement is really hard so that the house stands tall. Cement is really heavy.
  • I know it is made out of clay and some are made out of glass because picture 5 is wide white and it looks like it has clay and picture 3m the bottom has 5 cylinders shapes and that is why I think it has a glass.
  • All the different constructions are famous ones from different countries. They are famous because, picture 1 is a landmark from France, picture 2 is from Australia, picture 4 is from the Netherlands.
  • Picture 4, this is used for dumping water. They are used in many countries.
  • Picture 2 is kind of like a house because houses have the roof just like that. And the rest are not houses, they are buildings. The pictures 1,3 and 5 are really tall, but picture 4 is like it has wings on it, it is like a fan that goes round and round.
  • Picture 5 is the Sydney Opera House.

Questions we have about these structures:

  • Why do people make towers?
  • Why are some of these towers tall and some short?
  • Picture 5, how is that tower not falling because it is leaning?
  • Why do they need to be tall? – Why do people like to build tall and big structures?
  • Do people like to build tall towers? – Picture 3, there are little wooden rectangles, have they used glass or is there nothing inside?
  • Who built the towers? Who made the 1st tower?
  • Why are these towers made out of shapes?
  • Do people like towers made out of shapes?
  • How are towers made?
  • Which is the oldest and latest tower?
  • Number 5 is the oldest and number 3 is the latest building.

Next, the students used guiding questions and sentence starters to write about the structures they had chosen to recreate with shapes.  

Form:

Name it! What is your structure? My structure is…

Describe it! It is…

Structure: What materials have been used to create it? Why?

Purpose/Function: What is it used for? How does it work?

Connection: How is it connected to us?

 

How might we use new vocabulary to talk about our own structures? 

The Present

We watched the beautifully animated story ‘Penguin‘ by Polly Dunbar. This is a story about a silent penguin who has a very special way of expressing himself.  

For the story read by the author Polly Dunbar click HERE!

Writing Task:

Imagine that you rip open a present just like Ben does. Which animal would you like to find inside and why? What adventures would you have?

This writing task encouraged students to:

  • write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
  • develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach
  • use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others

Informational Reports

Over the last few weeks, the students have been conducting their research and creating models and books to share important messages about nature, and our role in creating environmental balance. They have been using their knowledge of non fiction literature to create informational reports.

 

Informational Report Checklist

 

 

Writers..

  • write informative texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources

What could you do to create balance in our environment?

Non-Fiction and Informational Texts

We know that readers of nonfiction books do an extra-brainy, intense kind of thinking. Readers pay attention to details and think, “How can I put together what I am seeing, to grow ‘knowledge’ about this topic?”

As readers, we don’t just grab on to one detail that we notice. We look at all the different parts of the page, and the text, as we try to put what we are learning together in our minds. Instead of ‘glancing’ at the diagrams, we need to look closely at the details. Then, put what we know together to build a deeper understanding.

We can go back to the text to find the facts that are most connected to the idea.

Reading Strategy: We can use Pictures, Illustrations, and Diagrams

Illustrations give clues about the meaning of words and text. Paying attention to the pictures may confirm the meaning of words. Picture books are not the only texts where pictures convey meaning. Readers are exposed to pictures in much of their nonfiction reading. Knowing how to figure out words by using background knowledge, looking at the picture, and inferring its meaning enhances vocabulary.

How might we know if a text is fiction or nonfiction? We discussed and the different Features of Fiction and Nonfiction Texts.

Then, we took a closer look at nonfiction texts to see if we can identify some of the terms related to nonfiction texts.

We read the non-fiction text ‘Kelp Forests, Exploring a Floating Habitat‘ by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris to help us explore how these texts share information and help us understand topics, concepts and big ideas.

Here are some ways to talk about our thinking:

  • I’m noticing…
  • I’m learning…
  • I’m wondering…

Reading Strategy: Ask questions to engage with the text.

We can engage our minds by asking questions as we read. When reading fiction, we might ask, “What comes next? Why did the character do that?”

When reading nonfiction, we might ask questions about the topic, “How do I know?”

When we ask and answer questions while we read, we know our minds are turned on to a book, this means we are coming to the text with curiosity. It can feel like we are having a conversation with ourselves as we question and inquire, wondering what will come next. We can read on to answer our questions!

Reading Strategy: Use Word Parts to Determine the Meaning of Words

Looking at parts of words helps readers break the word’s meaning apart and supplies them with a strategy to understand new words they encounter. While looking at the distinguishable parts of a word, readers use their back- ground knowledge of the word parts along with their knowledge of the text to infer the meaning of the word.

Reading Strategy: Use Dictionaries, Thesauruses, and Glossaries as Tools

Readers use many strategies to increase their understanding of words and texts they are reading. Although there are many different strategies to use, one of the most widely known strategies is using a dictionary, thesaurus, or glossary as a word learning tool. Readers use this strategy when they need a precise definition of a word or a list of other words that mean the same thing. In order for readers to be successful at using these word learning tools, they must first understand how they work.

Two students create a poster to share the reading strategies they have been using during Guided Reading lessons.  

As researchers, we have been reading books, watching videos and engaging in dialogue to learn more about living things. We have looked for ways to share our own understandings with others. As writers, we have been wondering what techniques we might use to teach our readers about the different things we are learning.

We are learning that writers can include introductions. They help readers know what they will learn about. Informational texts: ​

  • can start with an action​
  • start with a little story to hook and pull the reader in​
  • start with a big idea​
  • start with questions to get the reader to think​

​Writers can include conclusions. They can also leave the reader with a big thought or idea.​

Bringing all these ideas together, the students have been working on creating their own piece of informational text. This would accompany their 3-Dimensional model or audio book projects.

Taking ACTION!

The students have been reflecting on their ‘powerful word‘ to explore how they can use it in meaningful ways.  

They decided to take action by planning and creating movies, posters and models that share important messages about our ‘powerful words’ and ‘actions’.

 

PROTECT

Action by Grace “My powerful word is protect. I made a poster about protect. This poster is for the people who see another people hurting each other. If the people don’t know how to protect those people then they can look at my poster.”

Plan

Poster

 

Action by Agata “My powerful word is protect. I made a poster to tell people to protect themselves. And when you are in danger maybe somebody will protect you from the danger. So you need to protect yourself from danger or you or someone can get hurt. And protect everyone protect the people that is in danger Protect everybody. And protect the people that are mean to you. After you do that then you are proud and happy of yourself. And you need to protect people everywhere and everyone.”

Plan

Poster

 

Action by Federico “My powerful word is protect. I am going to tell you to watch out for rocks when you are walking down the street. Kind regard’s For the Parents and Students.”

Plan

Poster

 

Yuchan Protect fish by not throwing hard things like metal and rocks where the fish live, like the sea, pond and river.”

Plan

Poster

Model

 

Action by Ethan and Diego “Our powerful word is protect. We made this poster and a video in three languages because we want G1 and G2 students to know that they should not throw rocks to the big rock.”

Plan – Storyboard

Poster

 

Action by Ella and Hera “Our powerful word is protect. Ms.Delia and Ms.Shemo helped us to take the video. At first we took the video, and then we made a poster. We are going to share our video with pre-K to G1 students. Our message is “Do not fight! Protect your self !”

Plan

Poster

 

FIRM

Seungbin “Hold the monkey bar firmly or you will get hurt and other people can get hurt and your veins will get hurt.”

Plan

Model

Poster

 

HELPFUL

Action by Amber “My powerful word is helpful. I created a poster to share it with pre-k to let them know what it means to be helpful to others. First, I made a plan for my second plan. Then, I made my poster plan to make the drawings. Next, I typed it on a computer. Finally, I printed it. Please, be helpful to others!”

Plan

Poster

 

DANGEROUS

Action by Lawrence “My powerful word is Dangerous, I made a poster for Pre-k ~K2. My message is keep away from Dangerous things.”

Plan

Poster

 

SMART

Seoyeon takes ACTION “My Powerful Word Is SMART. I created a poster to share with pre-k, k1 – Grade 3. My Message is about Why smart is a powerful word and how we can be smart and about when l am smart what are my feelings.”

Plan

Poster

 

FIGHT

Action by Seolah “My powerful word is fight. I made animation. First I made the characters with paper and sticks and then I made the animation with stop motion.”

Plan

Poster

 

Poster

 

Gihyeon  “My powerful word is fight. Two sharks are fighting because they want to eat the fish but fighting is not good because when you fight then you can get hurt. If you fight hard then your bones will break.” 

Plan

Poster

Model

 

Action by Yuki “MY powerful word is fight. I made poster to everyone don’t fight.”

Plan

STRONG

Hayoon takes action “My powerful word is strong. I made this animation to show people to be healthy and strong.”

Yuchan, Gihyeon and Seungbin create models and posters to share their powerful words and messages:

Yuchan “Protect fish by not throwing hard things like metal and rocks where the fish live, like the sea, pond and river.”

Seungbin “Hold the monkey bar firmly or you will get hurt and other people can get hurt and your veins will get hurt.”

Gihyeon “My powerful word is fight. Two sharks are fighting because they want to eat the fish but fighting is not good because when you fight then you can get hurt. If you fight hard then your bones will break.”

What are YOUR powerful words and how do you use them? 

Temporal Words

Temporal words are transitional words that refer to time. They can add meaning and context to writing and can help a story move or flow. Together we decided on what words might describe or show the passing of time or sequence of events. We documented these words on chart paper.

Next, the students worked in groups to look for these words in picture books. They continued to add these words on the chart paper.

Then, they organised different temporal words, deciding when they might occur in a story, at the beginning, middle or end.

Finally, they reflected on their own writing.

– How can we show the passing of time or sequence of events in our own writing?

– What words would help my story move forward?

Inside and Outside! 

The students used their plan or mind map to help them write a rough draft. Then, they made changes to their work to improve their ideas and add more details. They organized their writing to create a second draft. After editing their work, they finally published their writing. Using the writing process helps the students think about the different stages of writing. It helps them revisit, revise and build on their first ideas.

Next, we thought about our personalities. Who are we on the inside?

To help us think about this further, we listened to the story ‘NO. DAVID!’ by David Shannon.

First, the students described David from the outside. What are his physical traits, or things we can see?

David:

  • has sharp teeth
  • body is like a potato
  • has no hair
  • has skinny legs
  • has a triangular nose
  • has small eyes and thin eyebrows
  • has oval shaped ears

Next, we thought about the inside. What can we learn about David by his actions, words, or thoughts? The students wrote their personality trait words on post-its and shared their reasoning.

The students explained that David is:

  • Greedy because he eats lots and lots of food
  • Silly because he does crazy things
  • Unsafe because he does dangerous things like standing on books
  • Unkind because he did not listen to his mum
  • Funny because he does crazy things

Next, the students described their own personalities. They included these descriptions to their portraits. Through our discussions, stories and work together we continue to learn about who we are as individuals.

Next, we wondered what other people know or think about us! The students wrote statements about their friends and included these on the community display.

As we continue to learn about ourselves, we explore the interactions we have with each other.

  • How are we connected to each other?
  • What helps us stay connected?
  • What behaviours help or hinder our relationships?

One of our friends are unable to join us in person, yet. She has been waiting to enter the country, but has been in touch with us virtually. The students frequently ask about their friend. They decided to give their friend a call to connect and learn about her. 

@E’s Interview

documented by Ella

First, we all sat in a group and thought about some questions. We all wrote our questions on a paper.

Second, we interviewed @E because we wanted to know more about her. We interviewed her with Ms. Shemo’s laptop. We read our questions to @E. @E told us the answer of all of our questions.

Then, Ms. Shemo showed our class room to @E. Then we said bye bye to @E.

We hope @E comes to China in a few days.    

The students wrote what they learned on speech bubbles. They included the information on their documentation panels. 

Concepts: identity, empathy, friendship, Inclusion

Identity

Over the past few weeks, we have been digging deeper into the concept of ‘identity’. We have discussed and documented our identities as readers, writers, mathematicians, and learners. We understand that every person is an individual, and that knowing ourselves, can learn help us connect with others around us.

Self Portraits

We understand that people communicate feelings and ideas through the arts. Therefore, the students were invited to create self-portraits using different materials. First, they drew portraits on large card. Then, they chose different mediums to complete their artwork.

Next, we reflected on the questions:

  • What do I know about myself?
  • What do I want people to know about me?

The students began to gather their ideas on paper, drawing and writing to express their identity.

  • We wonder how we can share what we know about others…
  • We wonder what others know about us that we don’t know…

Who am I as a Writer?

We began by brainstorming what good writers do. Students made connections with ideas and strategies shared by the group, to help them develop their own identities as writers.

Next, the students began to brainstorm topics, themes, and ideas that they would like to write about. They included this information in their ‘Writers Workshop Folder’.

Through discussion, the students identified goals for writing. As the weeks progress, they will reflect on these goals to help them strengthen their identities as writers and communicators.

During quiet writing time, the students practice their writing skills. They think, plan, draft, and write. They revise, edit, and make plans to publish their final pieces of work.

Through this process, they learn to appreciate and understand that a good piece of writing takes time and effort.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

Communication Skills – Writing

  • use appropriate forms of writing for different purposes and audiences
  • use a variety of scaffolding for writing tasks
  • organize information logically

Self-management Skills – Organisation

  • set goals that are challenging and realistic
  • use time effectively and appropriately
  • understand and use learning preferences

Writing Small Moments

We have begun to explore ‘small moments’ writing during our literacy sessions. First, we read the ‘The Roller Coaster’ by Marla Frasee. Through this text, we began to think about the way authors write about ‘small moments’ in their life that are meaningful to them. We looked closely at the images, the feelings and actions expressed through them.

How did Marla Frazee write about a small moment? What did we notice?

The students explained:

  • she changed the way the words and sentences are written and drew lots of details in the picture
  • she added lots of details make the story more interesting
  • the pictures show how the roller coaster goes fast
  • the little girl changed her feelings during the story (scared and then happy), we know this because she used actions in the pictures

We wondered how we can use these different ‘craft moves’ in our own writing.

We thought about all those special ‘small moments’ we have had. Some were about the people in our lives, the places we go to frequently or the things we do all the time. Some first-time experiences and some were things that happened at the end. This led to the students creating their own list of small moments. 

Next, we chose 1 small moment to write about. They used a graphic organizer to include their thoughts, emotions, words, people, places, and things that are to do with the small moment. 

Then, the students began to put those ideas together to write about their own small moment. We know that good writers continue to improve their pieces of writing by refining their ideas and checking their writing.

The students were introduced to a Narrative Writing Checklist. After assessing a sample piece of writing, they used the checklist to self-assess.

SAMPLE

This process encourages students to evaluate their own work, while identifying and setting goals for further improvement. 

Writing – Conceptual Understandings:

  • write narratives to develop real experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
  • develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Summer Memories

The students were invited to write about their summer holidays. We began by thinking about our vacation.

  • What do we remember?
  • What are some of our favourite memories?
  • How can we share these ideas through our writing?

We began to document our ideas. 

Then, Ms. Shemo shared a photograph of her favourite holiday memory. The students helped fill in a graphic organiser that included the headings Who?, When?, Where? and What?

They helped construct a sentence using the key words. 

The students were invited to document their own memories through a Seesaw activity. They began by choosing 2 favourite pictures from their summer holidays. Next, they used the graphic organiser to plan their writing. They were excited to use their writing journals! 

The students were encouraged to extend their sentences using details, action and feelings. They edited their work, checking the spaces between words, punctuation and past tense verbs.   

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s):

Through these writing experiences the students:

  • wrote narratives to share real or imagined experiences in sequence
  • planned, wrote and revised their writing through feedback
  • recorded information and observations by hand and through digital technologies
  • used scaffolding for writing tasks
  • organized information logically

Sharing an Opinion

The students have been exploring Opinion Writing.

First, the students decided on ‘what’ they wanted to give their opinion about. Most students decided to focus on the action they wanted to take because of their inquiry into waste.

They began by giving their own opinion, but also setting up their readers to expect that their writing would try to convince them of it. 

Then, they connected parts of their piece using words such as also, another, as and because. After drafting and editing their writing, the students shared their opinion with the class.

Finally, they published their writing and presented their opinions to others.

The 5 Whys Strategy

Over the last few days, the students have been discussing the concept of ‘WASTE’.

  • What do we waste?
  • How does the waste affect or impact other things?
  • What can we do about waste?

The students shared what they thought humans waste. The list included:

  • Oil
  • Food
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Time
  • Wood
  • Electricity
  • Cardboard
  • Playdoh etc.

Next, we used question words to help us explore impact, cause, and effect. We also began to think about the suggestions we might provide to help reduce waste.

Then the students used the ‘5 Whys technique‘ to help them uncover the root cause of the problem.

They used the information they gathered to create a poster that would bring awareness to the problem.

The Memory Book – Final Steps

Our next step in creating the Memory Book was to decide on the layout of the stories. The students suggested that the stories should be presented in ‘alphabetical order’ (student names).

They shuffled their bodies, standing one behind the other, organising themselves into the correct space.

When the students checked their list, they realised that they had not included the 3 students that had left NIS at the end of the last semester. The adjustments were made.

Then, we included the final page with the ‘Author Interviews. Each student decided what they wanted their readers to know about them and their stories. The interviews were included with photographs of the authors, as suggested on the plan.

Next, the students dictated the information that would be included in the blurb, on the cover at the back of the book. They discussed their ideas, deciding on the most relevant information that would hook the readers. A photograph of the mural was included on the back cover.   

Then, the page numbers were included, and the contents page was created.

The Draft Memory Book has been completed. We were ready to send it off to the printer!

The Memory Book and Mural Project encouraged the students to see themselves as authors, illustrators, readers, and decision makers. Through this journey, the students developed an awareness, and an appreciation for different forms of expression. They have worked collaboratively to create artefacts that celebrate the culture, values, and community of Second Grade.

Memory Book (Click to read)

Theme:

How We Express Ourselves 2020-21

Central Idea:

Communities come together through expressions of culture.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Ways cultures are expressed (Form)
  • Similarities and differences of expression (Connection)
  • Why we communicate cultural stories (Perspective)

Key Concepts: form, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: Expression, communication

The Writing Process

Over the last few weeks, the students have been developing and strengthening their writing by planning, drafting, revising, editing, and finally publishing a piece of writing.

They began by focusing on a topic and asking questions that could be researched. We know that brainstorming allows us to make important decisions as a writer.

They gathered information through first and second-hand sources and included them on large chart paper. As they discussed the information, they made connections and developed a deeper understanding of the concepts linked to their research.

They began thinking about the information they wished to share with an audience. They put their ideas down in their notebooks. The students were encouraged to skip lines when they wrote, leaving space to revise and edit.

Next, the students read through the information and decided if the information was in a logical sequence. They continued to change and edit their work as needed.

Then, the students reread their writing, checking for errors in punctuation and spelling. They used word cards, the dictionary and other tools around the classroom to further develop their writing.

With guidance and support from adults, the students used a variety of digital tools to produce and publish their writing. This process helped the students conduct a research project based on focused questions, demonstrating an understanding of the subject and concepts under investigation.

Going through the writing process helps students become stronger writers!

Flashcards from Christina Winter

The Memory Book (Continued)

We gathered to reflect and update our plan for the Memory Book. We went through the process we have followed and thought about our next steps. 

The students have all created their individual stories for the Memory Book. 

Out next step was to discuss and come to an agreement on the look and feel of the book, starting with the front and back cover. The students decided that they wanted to create both a hard copy and an electronic version of the book. 

The students decided to vote on the colour of the front and back cover. They suggested a table would be a useful tool to document our data. Two popular choices emerged. Green and Purple. 

Yet another table was created to help us decide which colour would be used for the front and back cover. 

Next, we voted on the different titles the students had suggested. A clear winner emerged. The book would be titled ‘2A Memory Book‘.

The process documented

Watch this space to learn more about our next steps…

Storytellers in the Community

We have been creating stories that we want to share with our community. These stories are significant as they have a message or an important idea to communicate to the reader.

The students used a story planner to help them decide on the important elements of their story.

Then, they wrote their stories and shared them with the class. After making changes and editing their writing, they were ready publish their work. Many of the students decided to create their own short stories. These stories will be included in a Grade 2A Memory Book.

The class had discussed the idea of creating a collaborative piece of art or artifact, that communicates our stories and culture to the community. We had a large piece of canvas in the classroom. We wondered how we could use this piece of canvas to create an artifact.

  • How big should it be?
  • How would we draw on it?
  • Where will we display the mural?

We made a plan. The students shared their ideas and perspectives. What if each student drew a picture from their story, on the canvas? We would have 16 stories!

The students wondered how big each section would need to be. One student measured the width of the canvas and shared his suggestion for dividing the canvas.

The students agreed that each section would be 35cms. wide. But what about the length?

The students began to suggest different lengths. 45cms in length? 50cms. in length? We created a chart to document the data as the students voted for their choice. 

Then, we drew two of the most popular measurements on paper.

Next, the students voted to decide on the best length.

An agreement was reached. Each section of the canvas would be 35cms. X 55cms.

We will have 16 sections and 16 images that share what we value as a community.

We are finally ready to divide our canvas and begin to draw our stories to create the mural.

We have a plan to guide us as we create together.

The students used Book Creator to publish their short stories. These stories will be included in a Grade 2A Memory Book.

Here are a few published books:

Each student painted an image on a mural that represented their individual story. The students enjoyed this collaborative project that tells a story about the culture and values we share as a community.

Our Learning Story continues…

Stop and Jots

How might jotting notes help us remember key information from a text?

Instead of using post-it notes, we used a graphic organiser to practice this strategy.

We have been inquiring into ‘TIME‘. Therefore, we chose to read a non-fiction book to see what more we could find out about time. We took turns to read the book.

At the end of each page, we stopped to think about what we read.

Then, we recorded our key points using pictures, key words or sentences.

We discussed some of the concepts in the text. We used materials and tools around the classroom to help us recreate some of the different examples that were included in the book.

We continued to capture our thinking on paper.

We will practice this strategy as we read to gather information about the different topics we are researching.

Here is an activity the students were invited to create at home!

The book ‘It’s About Time‘ can be accessed through the app Learning A-z (RAZ)

Crafting Powerful Small Moments

We are working on crafting powerful small moments.

We know that authors tell meaningful stories. We began by reading ‘Owl Moon; by Jane Yolen, a mentor text that focuses on ‘small moments’.

Session 1: Generate meaningful ideas for small moment writing.

Owl Moon is a story about Heidi, the author’s daughter, who went looking for owls with her dad. It’s a beautiful ‘small moment’ story that captures and shares details about the winter night, the trees, the snow and mysterious nighttime bird. As we read the story, we thought about meaningful moments that WE wanted to write about. 

Session 2: Capture ideas.

We have been jotting down ideas for writing in our planning sheet, which is in our Writer’s Workshop folder.  

We looked at a few writing samples and discussed the strategies good writers use. The students explained that in this piece of writing, the writer remembered to:

  • use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence
  • keep spaces between words
  • use different types of punctuation
  • match the writing with the pictures
  • print words neatly on the line
  • use capital letters to show that some words were important
  • stretch the writing across 3 pages
  • use interesting words

We also discussed how the writer wanted story to be read! 

We revisited the Anchor Chart ‘How to Write a Story’. 

We discussed how we might add details to stretch the beginning.

We talked about the different ways we can bring our stories to life. We know that talking about our story and creating a sketch before writing is a great way to plan. 

We talked about planning our story. What strategies and tools might we use to do this?

We discussed a strategy ‘Telling Across Fingers’. We know that when we have opportunities to first talk about our stories, we can then think more about adding details to stretch our writing across pages. 

Session 3: Stretch out small moments.

Then, we looked at some pieces of writing. We noticed that some writers jot down key words at the top of the  page to help them stretch out the small moment. 

We continue to practice the strategies and tools we have been discussing that will help us grow as writers.

 

Transition Words and Phrases

During ‘Writer’s Workshop‘, we explored the different ways we can move our story forward. Using ‘Transition Words’ and phrases in stories, helps the story flow naturally.

We talked about the story mountain, discussing the beginning, middle, problem, solution (resolution) and end. 

The students took turns to talk about the different transition words and word groups, deciding together where these words may be used in a story. We practiced including these words and phrases in short stories, exploring how they help us sound like storytellers. 

The students were encouraged to think about how they might use transition words in their own story writing. They moved to practice their craft during ‘Writer’s Workshop’.  

We wondered…

  • How would the story start?
  • What word(s) might we use as we move from page to page?

We wonder what YOU might do to sound like a storyteller…

Writing – The Fire Alarm!

We can write our own stories!

What tools can we use to make our writing better? 

The ‘Writer’s Tool Box’ resources are available through teacher’s pet.

We needed to decide if we wanted to write about a watermelon, slice or seed idea

The students provided suggestions. Edits were made along the way, as we included and excluded ideas that improved our piece of writing. 

We put our ideas down on chart paper. 

We know that every great story starts with a good idea. To help us stay focused, we made sketches and labeled our quick ideas. We numbered our pictures, to help us as we write about events as they happened.

We discussed the setting, characters and important events. We included details by discussing and sharing what we remembered about the event.

The students decided on how they wanted to start each sentence.

We made changes as we discussed the story.

We tried different and interesting words. Using our senses helped us recall important details that we wanted to share with our readers.

We were mindful of our punctuation. Where do we need to include speech marks, exclamation marks and periods (full stops)?

The discussions helped us improve our writing.

While writing the story, we made many changes. We crossed out words we did not want, and inserted words we thought made our sentences flow. As the whole class was involved in the writing process, we had to listen to others and build on each others suggestions. When we were done, we could see a clear beginning, middle and end to our story. We thought it sounded interesting and hope our readers will enjoy it!

 

Writer’s Workshop – Small Moments

The students were introduced to their ‘Writer’s Workshop‘ folder. The folder will be used to store pieces of writing at different stages of the writing process. The folder includes a laminated copy of the Word Wall Words and letter sounds we use when writing.  

What shall we write about?

We began by generating and collecting ideas to write about.

  • what are we passionate about? 
  • what do we know a lot about?
  • What events and memories can we capture in our writing?

The students documented their ideas. 

We wonder how authors and illustrators hook their readers. What are some of the strategies and techniques they use to capture the attention of their readers? 

We used a mentor text to see what we could learn. We read ‘Shortcut’ by Donald Crews. This is a story about 7 children who decide to take the shortcut home, along the train tracks. They know they should always take the road. It is an exciting story that keeps the children at the edge of their seats. The author uses multiple strategies to hook the reader and keep them in suspense.

First, we talked about the cover, title, picture/illustration on the cover, authors name and spine of the book. We read the blurb at the back of the book, which helps us learn more about the story. We noted the author’s dedication. 

As we read the book, we noticed and discussed strategies the author/illustrator used to make this story more interesting to the reader. We wondered how we might use these techniques (that Donald Crews uses) when creating our own stories. 

We created an Anchor Chart to help us document what we have noticed. How might WE craft powerful small moments

We will continue to explore different techniques authors and illustrators use, to make our own stories more interesting to our readers. 

……………….

The students wanted to write their own stories about personal experiences that were significant or memorable to them. To learn more about how authors create these stories, we read ‘The Roller Coaster’.


Have You ever been on a roller coaster? What did it feel like?

Get ready to experience the thrill of riding a roller coaster for the very first time in this vibrant new adventure from acclaimed picture book by Marla Frazee.

We wonder how this story might inspire us to create our own small moment story…

Lines in Picture Books

Online Learning

Focus: Communication Skills 

Mo Willems is one of our favourite authors. We have read his books over and over again. Some of our favourite stories are: 

‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the BUS!’

and 

‘Should I Share My Ice-cream?” 

How do authors and illustrators use lines, shapes and patterns in their picture books? Notice how Mo Willems  uses lines and shapes to create his drawing.

You might want to try drawing Piggie with Mo Willems.

You might want to try drawing Pigeon.

You might want to try drawing Elephant Gerald.

We can explore drawing, creating and designing through our exploration of lines, patterns and shapes. Invite the children to make their own drawings or create stories using familiar characters or their own imaginative characters. The children may want to add their own details, speech bubbles and thinking clouds to add dialogue and thought.

Carnivorous Plants

Ms. Tina had read a book titled ‘Who Eats Whom‘. Michelle wanted to make her own book about ‘food chains’. She drew a picture of a plant that eats people, while working on her latest book. Her plant had teeth!

We then visited Ms. Hannah’s class. She has a strange plant in her class. Ms. Hannah talked to the children about the plant.

This plant eats insects!! We had some tiny earthworms and the children wanted to feed the plant. They were excited to see how the plant eats the worms.

Why do the plants eat these insects?

We wonder…

Research Skills

Formulating and planning

• Ask or express through play questions that can be researched.

Data gathering and documenting (audio recording, drawing, photographing)

• Gather information from a variety of sources (people, places, materials, literature).

• Use all senses to observe and notice details.

 – Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

Lines

The children have been using many different types of lines in their drawings, messages and paintings. Some of the lines develop into different pictures of objects, and others become letters and numbers.

Lines in maps…

Lines in messages…

Lines in letters…

We read the story ‘The Line’ by Paula Bossio. Upon seeing the cover page, Felix shouted “Ms. Tina!” He was referring to the litter ‘T’ in the title of the story.

The children began to call out and identify the different letters in the title, ‘THE LINE’ that were also in their names.

H is in Charlotte

E is in Michelle and Charlotte

L is in Leming

I is in Michelle

They circled the different letters they recognised.

Next, we read the story and made a note of all the different lines that were in the book. In this simple wordless picture book, a little girl finds a long black line. She wiggles the line, slides and spins inside circles that the line has created.

Later in the story, the line transforms into bubbles, a jungle vine to swing from, a tightrope to balance on and a big, hungry monster! We notice how the author and illustrator expressed the different emotions of the little girl in the story.

We observed the lines Felix and Yoochan have created using the ramps. They have made a road that goes to the beach.

We can draw many pictures using different lines. Here are a few different types of lines.

The children created pop-stick puppets using different lines.

@F uses lightening lines and other shapes to create pop-stick puppets. He then decides to create a puppet show using the different pop-stick characters and objects.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

Communication Skills

Speaking

  • Express oneself using words and sentences.

Interpreting

  • Interpret visual, audio and oral communication: recognizing and creating signs, interpreting and using symbols and sounds.
  • Understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas.

Reading, writing and mathematics

  • Understand symbols.
  • Understand that mark-making carries meaning.
  • Use mark-marking to convey meaning.
  • Document information and observations in a variety of ways.

Not Just a ‘Name’!

Sarah brought in a secret box. Inside was a message for Ms. Shemo. She wanted to communicate an idea she had about Ms. Shemo’s identification tag and whistle.

Michelle was excited about her message to Ms. Tina.

Sarah and Michelle used pictures, numbers and symbols to express their ideas. They were listening for the sounds in words to help her ‘spell’ unknown words.

A group of children continued to gather at the writing table. They were curious about their own and other children’s names. They used print around the classroom to help them write their messages.

The messages were presented to the class.

The children read out the written names. Then, we used the name cards to read all the children’s names.

The children noticed the different ‘first letters’ that we have in our names. They began to call out and sort names that started with the same letters.

We collected and organised the names. We could see the beginning sounds in names.

The teachers showed the children the movable alphabet that had magnetic letters. The children helped Ms. Shemo look for her own name first.

The teachers showed the children the letter punchers. The children gathered around the writing table to punch out their names, and words that they wanted to ‘read’.

We collected all our messages and posted them on the ‘Message Wall.

What other types of messages do we have around us?

The teachers brought attention to the different ‘messages’ that we have been sharing around our learning space. We noticed the different messages we share and receive through our projects.

  • We continue to wonder about our names…
  • We continue to wonder about the different messages we share and receive…

Do you have a message for me?

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

  • Listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas.
  • Interpret visual, audio and oral communication: recognizing and creating signs, interpreting and using symbols and sounds.
  • Understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas.
  • Express oneself using words and sentences.
  • Participate in conversations.
  • Negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers.
  • Understand symbols.
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Understand that mark-making carries meaning.
  • Use mark-marking to convey meaning.
  • Document information and observations in a variety of ways.
  • Communicate using a range of technologies and materials.

The Ladybug (Writers Workshop)

A group of students found a ladybug in the playground. They were curious about the little bug. We placed the bug in a small container and observed it closely using the iPad.

The ladybug walked around the container as it nibbled on the leaves. Some students sat at the table, around the ladybug and began to draw what they noticed. They shared their ideas and theories and chatted with each other about these interesting little creatures.

After a while the students realised that the ladybug needed to be released back into nature. They gently placed the ladybug on the bushes.

Ms. Tina brought in some books about ladybugs. The students gathered around the non-fiction material and discussed what they noticed.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1126800864889303041

The next day, Lawrence brought a book he had made at home about ladybugs. It was an ‘All About Book that teaches you about something. He read the story to the students and we observed the different features in his non-fiction book. We compared the book he made with the books from the Library.

Lawrence had remembered to include:

  • A front and back cover
  • A title
  • The authors name
  • Page numbers
  • Pictures
  • Labels
  • Arrows for direction
  • Close-ups

Lawrence read his story with confidence. He then created an audio story using the iPad app ‘Book Creator’. Listen to his story here:

SLO’s

  • participate and respond actively to read aloud situations; make predictions, anticipate possible outcomes
  • make connections to their own experience when listening to or reading texts
  • listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words
  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • focus on a speaker and maintain eye contact
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations

Writers Workshop – Background Perspective

We listened to the story ‘Tall’ by Jez Alborough. In this story, a tiny chimp wants to always feel taller than the other animals in the jungle.

He notices that everyone is bigger than him. His friends let him climb up on them to help him feel taller.

Our focus with the ‘mentor text’ was to notice how the author/illustrator chose to create his background. In this book, the central image in the illustration has lots of background behind it. 

We also noticed how the author used speech bubbles to show what the animals were saying. We tried to ‘read’ the words using our knowledge of letter sounds.

Next, the students were invited to create their own books. They quickly gathered their clipboards and paper and found a comfortable space in the Library to sit with their projects.

At the end of the session we included page numbers and stamped the date on our pages.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1109046957945675782

 SLO’s

  • focus on a speaker and maintain eye contact
  • listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations
  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic

What I See

  • The students listened to the story ‘What I See‘ by Holly Keller. This is a predictable pattern book. Students who are learning to read benefit from books with predictable text. This book also explores rhyming words such as rose and nose, top and mop. While reading we noticed that:
  • the book had a cover
  • the story had a title
  • the authors name was on the cover {by…)
  • each page had a picture
  • each page had a sentence
  • each page had a picture that matched the words in the sentence
  • each sentence started with ‘I see…’

One student said “We can make our own pattern books!

This led to a group of students gathering around the writing table, where they created their own pattern books.

 

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1091973500909146112

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1091974534289211392

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1091976855912034304

SLO’s

  • retell familiar stories, including key details
  • identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book
  • follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page
  • recognise that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters
  • speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

We read the story ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. In this story the bus driver takes a break from his route, but then a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! We noticed the way the author used thinking clouds and speech bubbles and changed the way the text looked (craft moves) to express emotion.

Students choose to retell the story.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1058269728349667328

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1057927595377942528

SLO’s

  • retell familiar stories, including key details
  • identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book
  • follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page
  • recognise that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters
  • speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly

The next day, we decided to draw our own pigeon. 

A group of students decide to create their own stories about pigeons.

We explored how we can use some of these ‘craft moves’ in our own writing. We also discussed how books were made and noticed that books have/can have:

  • a title
  • the authors name
  • pictures and words

When adding information students were invited to:

  • add details to drawings
  • add speech balloons to pictures to use dialogue
  • include thinking clouds to share what the characters were or thinking or wondering about

Students choose to share their stories using multiple languages.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/1058270653046960128

SLO’s

  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations
  • use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic

Writers Workshop

During ‘Writers Workshop‘ we noticed that picture books have a picture (with clues to the story) and the authors name on the front cover. After a quick mini lesson on making books, a group of multi-aged students gathered at a table in the centre of the classroom. They were connected by their interest in ‘making books’. They shared ideas, made suggestions for improvement, read their stories to each other, and had fun while exploring the craft of writing. It was hard to miss their giggles and excited voices, as they sat together at the low rectangular table. The teachers provided more options for paper and a variety of writing tools. The students quickly dove straight into their projects.

Here are a few of their stories:

SLO’s

  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations

The Dinosaurs are Extinct!

Over the past week, the students have been curious about dinosaurs. We noticed that some students had images of dinosaurs on their clothing.

Dinosaur eye, dinosaurs, T-Rex.

One student brought in a dinosaur puppet to share with his friends.

We wondered…

… Reggie “What happened to the skin when they died? They found the bones not the skin!”

We watched the BrainPOP video ‘fossils’ to learn more.

While watching the video, the students discussed what happens to the soft parts of the body, when living things die.

Reggie “Decompose means, melt.”

Abby “When the tubes stops, you die”, explained Abby. She was referring to the heart and how you die when the blood stops flowing.

We heard the word prey in the video.

Reggie “The prey is something the animals are hunting.”

Writers Workshop‘ followed the discussion. This is an activity that provides students with opportunities to draw and ‘write’ about things they know and care about. Students were invited to create their own books. Some chose to express their own ideas about dinosaurs through their stories.

Through his story, Cornelis explains how fossils are formed.

“A long time ago, a dinosaur is dead and it was in the water. And then the water changed into sand. When the sand changed to rock, the bones also changed to rock.”

Vincent explains his theory on how the dinosaurs became ‘extinct’.

“This is the world, the dinosaur world. The fire and the water mixed together and the world exploded and the dinosaurs died.”

SLO’s

  • participate and respond actively to read aloud situations; make predictions, anticipate possible outcomes
  • make connections to their own experience when listening to or reading texts
  • listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words
  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • focus on a speaker and maintain eye contact
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations

The Enormous Turnip – Part 2

The students have been listening to the story ‘The Enormous Turnip‘ over a period of weeks. They have retold, dramatised and sung the story in Chinese.

Next, they created their own story of the ‘Enormous Turnip’. They first coloured, cut and glued the story in sequence. They were invited to include more characters in their story. The students shared their story with their peers.

A Worm!

Students were encouraged to…

  • sequence and retell a story
  • communicate information using pictures
  • develop fine-motor skills
  • develop listening skills
  • use their own creative ideas to extend stories

Freight Train

The students listened to the story ‘Freight Train‘ by Donald Crews. In this book the artwork takes the centre stage. The students were encouraged to notice how the author and illustrator used pictures to make the story more interesting. They noticed and shared how the author used details to show the speed of the train as it travels.

Kai “It looks like the colours are melting.”

Franz “It looks like where I live. I have big buildings like that.”

Students were invited to create their own books at the writing corner. They created books about trains, journeys and their families. 

The next day they listened to the story again, and were then invited to colour, cut and create their own book about the ‘Freight Train’. The students were encouraged to put the pages in order depending on the colours of the different carriages.

“What colour comes next?”

SLO’s

  • participate and respond actively to read aloud situations; make predictions, anticipate possible outcomes
  • make connections to their own experience when listening to or reading texts
  • listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words
  • tell their own stories using illustrations and words
  • focus on a speaker and maintain eye contact
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations

Writers Workshop

A group of students gathered to look at a range of books written by some of their favourite authors. There was a discussion about how writers create books. While browsing through the books they noticed that:

  • there were pictures on the cover
  • the pages had pictures and words

Cornelis “The person who draws the pictures is the illustrator.”

Teacher “Can we become authors too?”

The students began to brainstorm ideas for their books. They drew inspiration from some of their favourite characters and interests.

  • princesses
  • fast cars
  • Star Wars
  • Frozen Lego
  • car races

They began to put their ideas down on paper to retell their own stories. Some were scary and others entertaining.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/900655214629236736

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/900653075920060416

SLO’s

  • draw sequenced story maps and label illustrations
  • plan/write/draw stories based on experiences
  • use illustrations to tell a story
  • communicate in different ways

Non-fiction & Close-ups (Writers Workshop)

The students looked at non-fiction books to see how authors and illustrators use illustrations to share information. The students noticed how a lot of information can be found by “reading” the photos found within nonfiction texts. They noticed the labels, close-ups of pictures and different ways information may be displayed.

The students then used magnifying glasses to observe plants around them. They used paper to record their observations.

Ms. @ modelled how to write what we observe using describing words.

SLO’s

  • recognize the difference between fact and fantasy
  • write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea
  • write a sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop

Mind Maps

A group of students used mind maps to help them brainstorm ideas for writing about a topic. After putting down their initial thoughts using one word or a simple phrase, they started writing their ideas using sentences.

SLO’s

  • plan/write/draw stories based on experiences
  • write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea
  • write a sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop

Illustration Techniques (Writers Workshop)

Writers can learn and get ideas from other writers! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MS. Jacqui began by sharing two picture books with the students, ‘Roller Coaster‘ by Marle Frazee, and ‘The Trouble with Dogs,” Said Dad by Bob Graham.

In these two books the authors use details in their backgrounds to bring their stories to life. The students discussed what they noticed. We observed how some students had practiced various techniques learned previously. The students gave each other feedback for improvement.

Background Perspective: The central image in an illustration may have lots of background behind it.

Background Perspective: The central image in an illustration may have lots of background behind it.

Vera shares the technique she used to show that the characters are moving and talking. She used curved lines to show movement and speech bubbles to record talk.

Carolyn used techniques to show character movement and directionality, and facial expressions.

SLO’s

  • plan/write/draw stories based on experiences
  • write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea
  • observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations
  • use illustrations to tell a story

Authors and Performers

The students have been writing and creating their own ‘teaching books’ and ‘stories’ during Writers Workshop. They brainstormed ideas for creating books. “What do writers write about?” 

We discussed how we can use what we already know about a topic to help us make new books. Some of the students chose to continue working on books they have made previously while others started a new book.

During Performing Arts, the students learned how to create story baskets using resources they have around them. They used the story ‘The Three Little Pigs‘ to help them think about what they need to retell the story. They began to explore how they can make their own story baskets.  

https://twitter.com/NISKinder2/status/831446861906997250

Students worked at centres in the classroom to create face mask puppets, pop stick puppets and props, and playdough puppets.  

They retold and created their own stories using the props in the baskets.

https://twitter.com/NISKinder2/status/831678292310708224

https://twitter.com/NISKinder2/status/831686591881940992

https://twitter.com/NISKinder2/status/831687193580023808

SLO’s

  • realize that stories are told using performance conventions (narration/characterization/ movement)
  • engage in imaginative play using a range of stimuli
  • explore familiar roles, themes and stories dramatically
  • create roles in response to props, set and costume
  • share ideas and experiences through role play, art and discussion

Writers Workshop (Publishing)

Ms. Jacqui shared how authors publish books. Authors don’t just write and then hide their writing, they publish and share their books with others. We discussed what she needs to do to complete her writing. First she had to choose which piece of work she wanted to publish. She chose her story about plants.

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SLO: Plan/write/draw stories based on experiences Write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea. Write a sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

She first looked through her writing to see if there was anything more she needed to include. She reread her writing and added another sentence. She needed a front page, a cover. She decided on a title and wrote her whole name, so that everyone would know she is the author of the book. She included a picture that matched the title.

Students were invited to published their own books. They looked through their folders. They followed the steps needed to publish their books.

Please read our books displayed at the entrance of the classroom!

 

 

https://twitter.com/NISKinder2/status/805001091242807297

Writers Workshop (Spaces Between Words)

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SLO: Plan/write/draw stories based on experiences Write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea. Write a sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

The mini-lesson this morning focussed on using spaces between words. We first decided on the sentence we wanted to write. Then we counted the words and started writing using ‘a spaceman’ or our fingers to help us keep spaces between the words. The students were invited to practice the new strategy/tool when writing their own stories during Writers Workshop.

 

 

 

Writers Workshop (Add More)

The students continued to work on the books they had created during the previous workshop. The focus was to go back and ‘add more’ to their books. Ms. Jacqui shared how we can add more to the writing or the pictures. Some students used the ‘teaching books’ (collection of non-fiction) in the basket to extend their ideas.

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SLO: Write phonetically to tell a story or express an idea.

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SLO: Plan/write/draw stories based on experiences.

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SLO: Use illustrations to tell a story.

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Next the students received their own ‘writing folders’, which they will use to keep their ongoing and finished pieces of writing.

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SLO’s: Tell their own stories using words, gestures, and objects. Observe, discuss and comment on the information being conveyed in illustrations.

Pirates of the Zombie

A group of students decided to create their own ‘Pirate Story’. They wrote the script together, created the props, decided on the characters and actors, and performed for their peers. They had to work together, negotiate and solve problems as they practiced.

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/742927958432743426

https://twitter.com/NISPreKK1/status/743343841948798976

Agency: When students are actively engaged in various stages of learning, including: thinking about, planning, modifying and creating. When students apply their understanding of concepts through the construction of their projects/play.