Part of our school wide rubric is for first graders to not only report the facts, but also to include a Topic sentence and a concluding sentence.
This is new for us to begin at this time of year. It's a difficult concept for my students to understand--Introducing a topic. Like Hi, Nice to meet you, I'm a bat.
I will be developing this concept over the next few weeks, and I hope to post more on the progress of my students. I've been trying really hard to make them indpendent in this area.
I started with bats last week. I read a book about bats that I got in a set about different animals from Scholastic. We also had a great Scholastic News magazine telling great information about the mammal. The information is read-able, interesting and factual. My kids were loving this picture and I loved hearing them talk about bats as if they were scientists. Slurp!
I also found an old reading comprehension/directed drawing activity to go along with it. They read the short passage about bats. They then had to answer the questions using information from the passage. Finally, they got to follow the picture directions to draw a bat.
The day we did this, I must mention, we had a few extra students from another class, because her sub didn't show, and it was the end of the day. I think, that may be why I was so pleasantly surprised by the results of their writing. Here are a couple of examples of what this background knowledge produced.
|"I like bats and they are mammals. Bats help farmers keeps the food and the from away from the insects. I know bats are cool. I like bats because they are pretty. Bats are our friend."|
|Bats are mammals. They are nice! Bats have claws. Bats sleep in the day.|
We are currently writing about Monsters--and will be finishing up on Monday. The next topic is Owls so stay tuned for our writing progress and updates :0)