Stories and Poems
We spent the first week figuring
out what is and is not nonfiction. We discovered that nonfiction
can be about anything. The second week I helped them to learn
the attributes of feature articles, that it must have facts plus
one or more of the following: story
The third week was spent learning about first and 2nd hand information. I taught them how to get first hand info from a survey of two yes/no talliable questions or to do a short interview of one person (2 questions for my 1st graders). I also taught them to think about a topic, like water, then to choose an angle such as drowning, drinking water, rain, water safety. Then I helped them to think about their own topics and angles.
Once they had a topic/angle, they had to search for facts. Homework was to come back with five -ten facts about their angle. They then wrote a reflection page about the facts. They would have written another reflection page about their first hand info, survey/interview, except we didn't do those. From the reflection page we noticed that that was where our story, strong voice, and opinion seemed to appear.
The fourth week they began the
drafts by choosing a lead. They had to decide if the lead was
going to be story, strong voice, opinion or fact. They wrote
some, we conferenced about what element of a feature article
they might want to add, and where. Some added on to the beginning,
middle or end, different elements of the feature article. They
would write some, I'd take it home to type, give it back, they'd
add some more, or cut it apart and add to the middle,
When all revising was done, they edited for conventions and then I retyped as final editor and publisher. I gave them the finished copies with boxes in open areas so they could add in the pictures.
Our fourth/fifth graders also wrote feature articles. They had much longer pieces and did do the surveys (25 yes/no questions) or interviews (10-15 questions I think).
What I like about teaching this
unit is that if the kids were just writing nonfiction, it would
be all facts and the child's voice would not be in the piece.
Once they add story, strong voice or opinion, the article becomes
theirs. MY last one doesn't have her facts quite right and really
liked using strong voice, but I like her firefly piece. She found
her facts from the internet as no one had home would help her.
Following that is a fifth grade feature article.
I love flowers because they are
This bud is ready to blossom into
My daddy killed flowers because
When baby pandas are born they
are so cute, and they talk like a really real
I like when the adult panda feeds
the baby panda.
Do you know that pandas are black
and white? That they like
I think that nobody else loves pandas like I love pandas.
Do you know that fireflies live
in rotten wood, and fly around?
Fireflies light up in the dark. One time I caught them and saw their eyes!
They walk in grass. They fly around.
They like to stay on trees. They eat
I wish they came everyday.