Thursday, December 5, 2013

How-To Writing Introduction Inquiry

When we are learning about different writing genres, I love to have the students do an inquiry into different kinds of introductions and conclusions to help them with their own writing.  We look to our favorite authors {some are authors from our room!} or books of the genre.  We just finished up our How-To unit and I wanted to share with you how I go about doing this.

First I select texts to be our mentor texts throughout the unit.  They are usually books I already own.  For this unit we also printed off recipes as examples. This unit I used:
This isn't the recipe we used just one like it.

During the unit we read these mentor text more than once.  Sometimes I use them to teach a skill or strategy for a mini-lesson and other times to get ideas from their authors.  After the students had the concept of telling their reader how to do something with steps I knew it was time to work on our introductions.

We got some of the books out and I typed their introductions.  I also took several examples from students in my class.  Then I read them and the kids sorted them and named what the authors were doing.  For How-To writing they noticed authors started with actions, questions and telling.  Some did more than one. 

When the students went off that day to write they were so excited to fix up their introductions.  By the end of the unit every single student had an introduction without my prompting!

Since the students noticed and named what the authors did in their introductions, they had a sense of ownership.  This built their confidence and then they willing to try something new.

I typed up some of the books introduction for you to make your own anchor chart! Click on the link or images to download.

When the students are ready we do the whole process over again but this time we inquire into conclusions.

Check out these posts for How-To Writing resources: Introduction to Expository Writing, More Expository! and Writing Workshop Revisions (which refers to the old Units of Study by Lucy Calkins).

Here is an example from our opinion writing of the same type of inquiry lesson:

See the original post here: Strengthening Our Opinion Writing

These lessons are definitely impactful on my little writers!

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