As soon as we came back from Thanksgiving break, my students were challenged with coming up with their own text structures for their next piece of writing. I told them that they would be writing an expository piece about their favorite time of year, but that the rest was up to them.
I was surprised at how easily some of them came up with their own structures! It’s only December, and they are already taking that risk and doing a pretty good job with it! My heart is full!
Now…we still have a LONG way to go…but again, it’s DECEMBER!
So…here they are. I chose my favorite four to share with you. We are still working on adding in quality details, but I felt that these four students especially did a great job of painting a picture of what these holidays look like and why they enjoy the festivities that accompany them.
Click here to download a copy! Feel free to print them and use them in your classroom for teaching purposes. I know I’ll be doing the same!
One thing that I found helpful was to ask them to do two things: tell what they can do and what it looks like. That simple. My kids are having a hard time expanding on their topic sentence, but with these instructions, they were able to add more sentences and some quality details that didn’t just simply restate what they had already said.
So it goes like this: I like spending time with my family. (What can you do?) I get to decorate the tree, put decorations all over the house, and help my mom wrap presents. (What does that look like?) Every year we take all the ornaments out of the attic and hang them on our Christmas tree. I always get to put the star on top! We also hang our stockings, put the advent calendar up, and take out the cookie plate for Santa. My favorite part is wrapping presents with my mom. That’s always fun!
Just by asking those two simple questions, students can begin painting a vivid picture of what that looks like…and all the while explaining why they like their topic. It was sort of an “ah hah” moment in my classroom.
You should try it. I would love to hear what your students come up with! Hopefully this can help your kiddos explain a little better, too!
Next up: Pitchforks! If they can use pitchforks to explain what they can do and what it looks like, then they can add a sentence for each part of their pitchfork. And voila! A well-developed paragraph with carefully chosen details. That’s at least a 3 (6 combined score) in the making right there!
If you have papers from your kiddos that you would like to share, I would LOVE to hear them! You can email me with an attachment through my “About” page. And if you’ll let me, I’ll feature your kids right here. We all love to learn from each other!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas that brings fun, family, laughter, and joy to you and yours!