Join Ruth Ayres, Stacey Shubitz and the whole Slicing Gang for some Slice of Life stories at the Two Writing Teachers blog.
Last week, I blogged about the beginning of my non-fiction exploration with my students. I spent about a week and a half drowning my kindergarten kiddos in non-fiction. We read, we learned about text features, we made a ROCK STAR of an anchor chart about text features, and we just enjoyed learning new things and talking about books. It was a very enjoyable time together. The kids poured over the non-fiction book tubs during free time, they couldn't wait to show me text features they found in their books, and they were bursting to show their friends interesting tidbits they found while reading.
Then, I challenged my students to choose a "critter" (any creature we had books about). It was hard for some of them to pick just one, but they all settled on either their favorite critter or one they wanted to know more about. I gave each student 1-2 books about his/her critter of choice and we spent the next three days of Read to Self (and often free choice time) reading and gathering knowledge about our critters.
This week, the non-fiction exploration spilled over into writer's workshop. Using a template I found on Pinterest, we began to write about our critters. On the first day, we reviewed what a diagram was (using our awesome anchor chart, of course!) and used the large box on the top of the template to draw and label a picture of our critter. On the second day, we reviewed what a fact was and I challenged the kids to find out three things about their critter: where the critter lives, what it eats, and one interesting/cool thing they learned about their critter. We shared those three details with the class during our sharing circle after Read to Self. Then, we moved into writer's workshop and wrote those three things down. On the template there are three smaller boxes with lines under them on the bottom. We drew a picture of what our critter eats and wrote a sentence to explain it. We also did this for where the critter lives and the interesting fact about the critter. This completed our templates. I wish I had taken a few pictures to share! Next time!
Tomorrow we will take our templates and begin to transfer that information into our own non-fiction books. After seeing the work they did on the templates, I am so excited to see how the books will turn out. I'm sure they will be awesome! Check back next week...and this time I promise to share pictures of the progress!