Teaching students to write How-To stories is challenging and I believe this is due to the fact that breaking down an activity and explaining how to complete it requires a higher-level of thinking. Developmentally, asking a kindergartner to take another's perspective is already challenging, but then, asking them to imagine that the person they are teaching does not have the level of knowledge that they do about a particular activity is even more of a challenge. I have learned to have more realistic expectations of what my students can do and, as a result, I've found myself nothing short of astounded at what they can accomplish with guidance.
Here is the writing process chart we used during our unit:
You can download the pages my students use to compose their how-to books for FREE here: Part 1 and Part 2
It's always fun to see what the students choose to write about. They choose topics they truly feel they are experts in and I love that this unit empowers them and allows them to feel such pride in themselves. This chosen topic made me feel especially proud of myself:
|How To Write A Small Moment Story Written and Illustrated by Julien Room 105 Publishing|
|Materials List You will need... a pencil, a eraser, and paper|
|You need to think about what you are going to write about.|
|Plan it out so you know what goes first next and last.|
|You need to write quick sketches.|
|Add words so the reader knows what you are saying.|
|Add labels so the reader know what your stuff is.|
|Add details so your story looks good.|
|About the author Julien. He lives in Seattle. He is 5 years old. And his birthday is August 17.|
This last sheet is a "translation page" I add to stories that may be difficult for the reader to read. This one was pretty clearly written, but I "translated" it just in case.
This is the display I created for the how-to stories. The photos below are poor quality, but I hope you can see how I highlighted some of the topics with arrows and labels. I love how it turned out!