Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"How to" Bulletin Boards

Kindergarten is deeply involved in their Pow Wow celebration but that does not mean that academics have suffered. The classes are also learning about non-fiction text features such as the Table of Contents, a Glossary, bolded text, and learning from captions with the illustrations as they read about Native Americans. They are writing procedural pieces that tell the reader 'how to" do something. The work that is being done in the classroom was evident as bulletin boards went up this week. The Hopi tribe in Julia Lewis' class worked on how to make kachina dolls which is native to their southwestern Hopi tribe. After making the dolls, the students then wrote instructions so that you can make one too! To the right you can see one example which features a picture of the young author with her kachina doll. The directions are written on special "how to" paper that includes four squares down the left side for illustrations with lines beside each square for the writing. At the bottom Julia has written her commentary on how the student has met the kindergarten standard for procedural writing.

In Debbie Harbor's class her Nez Perce natives made medicine bags. After they finished making their bags, they also wrote about the procedures, step-by-step so that you too can make one. Debbie displays four pieces of student work on her standard-based bulletin board but the photograph on the left represents one child's craft, the same procedural paper as seen above for the student to draw and then write about making the project, and Debbie's commentary. Each of the four pieces on her bulletin board include her commentary of how each student met the standards for this genre of writing.

These boards are excellent examples of how student can be deeply involved in content while at the same time they are deeply involved in reading and writing. Pow Wow here we come!

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