I am here to join up to Jessica's Workshop Wednesday (on Thursday morning). I love that the idea for this week is on Writing Workshop mini-lessons.
I really enjoy teaching writing and watching my students blossom as writers. It is hard to pick one favorite lesson idea.
First, I will share a couple of my favorite resources for teaching writing. One is www.readwritethink.org. My students all have laptops so we have used the interactive graphic organizers a ton this year. They have really enjoyed them and responded well to them. My second favorite resource is www.writingfix.com. There are many lessons on this website with free printables and mentor texts. When I first started teaching, some of my best lesson inspirations came from here.
Now, my favorite writing topic to teach is probably Point of View. Point of View is a skill that students need to understand in Reading, Writing, and History. I have found it to be a key skill to unlock creativity and higher-order thinking. I usually introduce the topic of point of view early in the year with mentor text The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume. The book shows the point of view of both a brother and sister and how they view each other. It is a cute text and something many kids can relate to. I think this text could also pair well with My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco (since the CCSS put so much emphasis on comparing and contrasting).
After we talk about Point of View, I introduce the writing strategy RAFT. I love using RAFT. RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. For a lot of our writing assignments, I have my students think about the role they are writing from (point of view), who their audience is (author's purpose), the format (letter, journal, essay, story, etc.), and the topic. Often you make 2-3 of these aspects mandatory and give them options for 1-2 of the others.
I have found using RAFT a fabulous way to incorporate writing into Science and Social Studies as well. We have done a lot of assignments where we have written from the point of view of historical figures. Point of View helps students make connections to people in History or characters in books or even think about how friends or family members feel. While studying light in Science, my students had to write from the point of view of a shadow.
In November for Thanksgiving, we do the persuasive writing from the point of view of the turkey who does not want to be eaten. We studied Point of View when we studied and wrote fractured fairy tales.
How do you teach Point of View? I will be back later to share my text suggestion for integrating the Common Core Standards in the Content Areas.
Don't forget to enter my Be a Better You Giveaway. I am giving away a $30 gift card to a store of the winner's choice in order to be a "healthier, better you" for summer.