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April 3, 2016

Writing with a Purpose

It took me a long time to find effective strategies to help my students write. Let me tell you...it was a LONG journey. My first couple years of teaching I struggled to keep students engaged and interested in their writing. Everything that I was trying was an epic fail. I finally started to realize that my students needed to write with a purpose. They needed to write about what was important and interesting to them. Yes, I understand that writing prompts are important; however, giving students some room for creativity is just what they need! 

I started having students create pop-up books and it was a big hit! The teacher next door to me also would borrow my pop-up books to use with her students. They LOVED them! It gave them freedom to create a fun filled story with a purpose, yet have the guidelines set in place to give them a foundation to their writing. Here is what that I created for Spring. I always start with a book about Spring. City Green was always one of my favorites. 

After reading a book on Spring, I always brainstorm with my students. This part is so important. I never let my students just go back to their desk and tell them to write. You have to give your students the tools to be successful. Brainstorm with them senses of Spring. This is always so much fun! Here is a freebie to get you started! 

My students would get so excited at this point. I would display a pop-up book put together and they would come up with so many amazing ideas for their writing. I would take this project all the way through the writing process. It would take us sometimes an entire week to get to the publishing stage. In the beginning, when you first introduce pop-up books, you will probably take 2 weeks. Once they get to the publish stage you will want to demonstrate how to put it together. Have some extra copies on hand in case one of your students gets "cut happy", it always happens! It also works best to have your students color first before they glue their published copy onto construction paper. At this point your students have taken their time to write a great story about Spring and edited/peer edited their writing. They turn out so great! I would display them on a bulletin board and they would be so proud of their writing. Writing with a purpose makes a difference! 
Here is where you can find all of the materials to make your very own pop-up books! Happy Writing!

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