Sunday, November 23, 2008

Questions and Answers

We are currently focusing on writing Question and Answer Non-Fiction in Writing Workshop. For this unit I am again drawing ideas from First Grade Writers by Stephanie Parsons. After reading several books of this type and analyzing them, we have begun working to write our own. I have done mini-lessons on generating a question that one is interested in and has some knowledge about, as well as the ability to learn more. Then I modeled choosing a question and planning out a book based on that question. It has to be a broad enough question to generate a variety of answers to keep the book interesting. One child came up with the question, "What color are hippos?" and we talked about how that would be a very short book. We have also talked about fact-checking our information. Several students now have non-fiction books on their topics to support them as they gather and check information. We have also looked a few things up on kid-friendly Internet sites.

By the end of the week some students had finished a first book and begun a second one. Others were working to expand their first books. After Thanksgiving each will choose one from what they have written to revise and edit in preparation for another celebration.

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