For our final Kindergarten Writing Unit, we finished with Opinion Writing using Lucy Calkins' new writing lessons. The depth in the lessons really stretched our thinking and our delivery. We have been thrilled with the level of writing the children have been able to produce. It is certainly true that when the level of instruction improves, so does the level of writing! These are a couple of examples of the children's work.
The first one comes from Levi who was super excited that he was able to use one of our vocabulary words, private, in his writing! His opinion is that he should be able to go to the bathroom in private - without his baby brother opening the door on him! He gives the reader a little story when he says that his brother put his hand in the toilet water. He even gives the reader a solution for fixing his problem on the final page!
I want to be private when I go to the bathroom because my baby brother
opens the door on me! One time my baby brother broke into the
bathroom and stuck his hand in the toilet water!
Yay! My baby brother is not broken in the bathroom. I am away (from him).
1.Put him in his bed. 2. Walk away. 3. Go to the bathroom! Thank you for listening. Love, Levi
Ana decided to write her letter to a large audience - the people at the beach. She begins with a story about going to the beach with a group of family and friends. She thinks they should quit going to the beach because they could get sun burned, even when they wear sun screen. She gives some compelling reasons for skipping the beach and taking the chance of a sun burn such as getting sick, missing vacation and having to put ice on your back. Her delightful pictures and speech bubbles give plenty of extra detail. Pretty good argument Ana!
I think people shouldn't go to any beach anymore because you can get really bad sun burn because...
Because one day I and Mommy and her friend Amber and Laura (were) all at the beach and my sister got sun burned.
Even when you got sun screen you can get sun burned because you can get sweaty. If you get really sweaty you can get sick.
Then you'll have to go home and you will miss all of the vacation.
Then you're going to have to stay home having ice on your back.
The children wrote letters to their families, many asking for a new pet. We so convinced the children that they could change the world that Paige was quite distraught when her letter for a new puppy did not produce the desired result! Other children took on bigger topics such as Jehan who wrote to his neighbors trying to convince them not to pollute the pond near his house because it is making the fish sick and Finn who wrote the Chinese government about his concern that they are taking sharks' fins for medicinal purposes! Nazar and Finn had quite the discussion as Finn wrote to try to save the sharks and Nazar took the opposite argument trying to get rid of sharks based on a shark attack he had witnessed.
To celebrate, our kinder class met with a 1st grade class. We paired each kinder partner with a first grader. We shared our persuasive letters and they shared their narrative stories. Each partner pair practiced giving compliments and we ended with cookies and juice. I think it was a relationship that will continue because it gave both groups an authentic audience for their work. The most exciting part for me is that we will be looping up with this group of children to first grade. Can you imagine what this group will be able to produce next year when we get to this unit? Can't wait!