Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ants on a Log

Since our theme this year is "Recipe for Success,"  it seemed the perfect time to think about using recipes to introduce procedural writing.  Several years ago, we read Tony Stead's Is That A Fact? and decided to incorporate one of his suggested units for teaching "how to" or procedural writing.  We used cooking projects and then writing about the experience  to teach children to identify ingredients and then the step-by-step procedure for writing a recipe.  That was such a fun unit.  After that year, we continued to do a few cooking projects each year but relied more on Lucy Calkins' Units of Study and folded procedural writing into non-fiction report writing.  We began with having students write a "how to" about something they knew how to do well, such as Karate or making a paper airplane or jumping rope.  Then we moved to including a "how to"  in an "All About" report such as including a "how to hit a ball" in a report "All About Baseball."

This year, however, with our cooking theme, we decided to add that cooking element once again in a more frequent way.  We'll still do our more traditional "how to" unit interwoven in our larger non-fiction writing, but by "cooking" every other Wednesday we'll have a bank of cooking experiences and recipes as the foundation for those beginning "how tos" when we begin our large unit of non-fiction writing in January.

Our first cooking experience was "First Grade Trail Mix."  Today it was "Ants on a Log."  The projects are simple for these first recipes as you can see in the writing below.  We are expecting our students to be able to give the recipe a title, list the ingredients, give the few simple steps and write an opinion to close.  We provide paper specific to this kind of writing.  As the year progresses, the recipes will become a little more complex and the writing will include more detail and description.  But, for today, we enjoyed our healthy snack and our writing lesson!

Ants on a Log
peanut butter
First you get the celery.  Then you put the peanut butter on the celery.
Next you put raisin on your celery.
Then you eat it.  It was yummy.  I will eat it again.

No comments: