The college and career-ready standards expect the three modes of writing to be taught at every grade level. It’s easy to see how these three modes of writing fit into writing generated by students in grades 2-12. But how do you teach preschoolers, kindergartners, or first graders these three types of writing when they’re only drawing pictures and/or barely writing letters and words?
These modes of writing can be easily addressed within the developmental stages of our youngest writers. Over the course of the year, students will progress from detailed picture-writing to adding labels around their pictures to detailed lists and then finally to detailed sentences.
Kids have lots of opinions–things they love and things they strongly dislike. Capitalize on their opinions with carefully chosen topics and provide ample opportunities for them to practice this mode. For example, you might assign them to “write” about their favorite toy. Sharing a “favorite” means sharing an opinion.
For expository and informative writing, consider topics that students are knowledgeable about. This will likely include content-area concepts you’ve been teaching in science and social studies. For example, you might assign them to “write” about the life cycle of a plant demonstrating what they know about plant parts and how they work.
Topics for narrative writing can be as simple as asking students “What did you do this weekend?” Perhaps the child writes about going bike riding. He may have ridden his bike down to Grandma’s house or to a friend’s house.
Meeting the writing standards in PK-1 in any stage of writing is doable. Assess your writers to know what stage they are in—drawing, labeling, listing, or sentence writing. Then, select topics that lend themselves to the writing purpose or specific mode you want to teach.
|Grade levels||Kindergarten, 1st Grade|
|Item types||Independent practice, Lesson plans (individual), Lesson plans (unit), Literacy|
|Is editable content included?||No|
|Supported file formats|
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