Introductory lesson on writing paragraphs depicting a sequence of events for all learners, with technology options
Subjects: Science, Language Arts
Students employ a broad range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a multitude of purposes.
Students employ a broad range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a multitude of purposes. NL-ENG.K-12.6
Students apply skill of language structure, language conventions (e.g. spelling and punctuation), media technologies, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
Applying Language Abilities
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g. for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
This is an introductory lesson focusing on writing paragraphs to depict a sequence of events, in this case using a model volcano. Each child will be a part of a group and have to work together to go after the directions. They will take pictures after each phase and write a clear sentence for each one. The pictures will be the plan they go after in writing a good paragraph depicting a sequence. Because writing can be laborious and abstract, this activity will provide concrete planning and structure to the process of paragraph-writing for special education students.
- Students will participate in creating a model volcano, photographing each step.
- Students will write sentences under each picture using sequential words (very first, then, last; or very first, 2nd third)
- Students will write a paragraph using the sentences they created with topic and closing sentences.
The best anticipatory set would be to do this while you are studying volcanoes. The groups could all be assigned different types of volcano and challenged to create them with the materials they have.
Explain that we will be using our own volcanoes to help us write paragraphs, letting our writing “pour out” from what we see.
Directions should include: 1. Lay out materials (list them) and verify you have everything. Take a picture. Two. Stand two liter bottle on the plywood and build the walls of your volcano using (specify materials). Take a picture.
For students who truly fight with sentence structure, provide colored numbers they can place next to each sentence, providing a commencing place for their sentence. Emphasize to them on their picture plan that 1 is said “very first,” Two “2nd,” Three “third,” etc. Demonstrate out noisy for them when reading their sentences.
During building and photographing of volcanoes, sequencing pictures, and after written work is finished, use this rubric (or one of your own creation) to assess student’s achievement of objectives.
Technology options and tips:
If you have access for students to do the entire writing portion of the project on computers, have each group make a word processing file with their sequenced pictures, then save it.
Model the rest of the writing process on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Permit each student to open his group’s picture file and instantly RENAME as “picture-plan-myname.” Students can then add text boxes under the pictures for the sentences. Save again. Commence a fresh document (or page) for the final paragraph, and permit students to copy/paste the sentences from the picture plan, adding the topic and closing sentences.
Another alternative is to use a class wiki, uploading the utter set of pictures from each group for students to insert in their individual wiki pages for picture planning and paragraph writing. Learn more about wikis in the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. If your wiki is password-protected (private), you will not need to worry abut safety issues of including student pictures. Or take the pictures displaying only the students’ mitts. Be sure to share the address/password to see the finished wiki with parents, so they can share in the excitement.
*Standards for the English Language Arts, by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, Copyright 1996 by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Reprinted with permission.