March 1, 2012

We're Losing our Teeth!

I kind of realized this week that in my haste to teach my kids how to be good writers... I've missed something. We write a TON! Like, really, a ton. But, since we don't have a science or social studies time built into our day, we have to teach those things through our reading and writing. And, since we have to get 15 grades for science and 15 grades for social studies, I teach almost all of that through writing. Which, is fairly obvious if you've read my blog before. Which is all well and good... except, we hardly ever write personal narratives!

So, this week, I was BOUND and DETERMINED to get my kiddos to write a personal narrative. And, since we have spent the whole week working on retelling using beginning, middle and end (more on that later!), I decided to have them write a narrative with beginning, middle and end about loosing a tooth!

I already had in mind the perfect way to get some good BME paragraphs out of my kids.  I actually got the idea from a fabulous fourth grade teacher at my school! She and I presented a professional development session at our school together about writing... and, I'm fairly certain I learned more in the process than I taught! She uses a flow map to get her fourth graders to write paragraphs. And, you know what? It's genious.

We went through each step together. First we talked about how the first sentence is the beginning and includes the who, what, when/where. I modeled for them the first sentence... but, I basically just said "My tooth was loose."

And, because of this chart right here, my kids nailed me! They were all just DYING to tell me it was a weak sentence, ha! So, together, we made it a strong sentence and it turned into "My little tooth was very loose when I was six years old."

Then, the kids scurried off to their desks and wrote their own beginning sentences.

Then, I brought them BACK to the carpet and we talked about how the middle of the story is where we give the details. We  talked about all the different things you do when your tooth is loose. They helped me write three sentences and we made them strong together. Then, they got to write their own.

Last, we discussed how the end is where we wrap it all up. They all knew it was the part where they could FINALLY  write about those little baby teeth coming out!

I have to say... this was a GREAT way to help my kids write a personal narrative. The flow map just makes so much sense to them! Plus, it's so generic that you could use it for just about anything.

We took our flow maps and turned their writing into a paragraph format. I pre cut-out some lips and let them cut white computer paper to make teeth as a little "decoration" for their writing.

Here's the finished product:

(I took a few more pictures... but, they all turned out blurry for some reason. Sorry bout that...)

Anyways, I'm going to try and blog again tomorrow. But, we'll see if it happens. Stay tuned...


Elisabeth said...

Writing is my weakness so I love this idea. Definitely trying this soon! Thanks! : )