How To Writing for ELLs

Our Weather Unit is the perfect opportunity to work on our how to writing {thanks to severe weather safety!}  I have always loved teaching how to writing because it's such great language practice for ELLs: order words, sequencing, following directions... and bringing in supplies to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at school helps keep my ELL sweeties {and the rest of the class!} engaged too!

To start off our how-to writing, we needed to give our firsties some good practice with instructions before asking them to write how-to's about weather.  So, we started by talking about order words.  We read how-to instructions on "How To Draw a Snowman" and followed the directions by drawing a snowman to match the instructions given.  We focused on order words like first, next, then, last, finally, etc...  And the kiddos *loved* the Frozen themed activity!  Sing it with me: Do you want to draw a snowman??? {You're welcome for that!}

In this activity, students followed all of the instructions and then added the last instructions themselves.  We did the snowman together and the other 3 were copied and put in a literacy station for extra practice!

Then, today we were ready to start writing our own how-to writings!  So, I brought in an oldie, but goodie: How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We used our snowman how-to anchor chart {included in the how to draw packet and my bundle of all writers' workshop anchor charts}, to guide our pre-writing.
**disclaimer: you know that time you laminated and it leaked nasty water stains or whatever on your cute poster...yeah...GRRRR!  The struggle is REAL people!*

Ah-hem....Anyways...We did think-pair-share at out table groups to identify the first, next and last step.   After they told me each step, I followed their directions and we drew a picture of that step.  When we finished drawing out our steps, we used the snowman anchor chart to write our how-to paragraphs!


 No special handout for this tried-and-true activity.  Just simply dividing the picture part of their journal into thirds to record a picture of each step.


They did so well doing this together so I can't wait to see how they do when we write about how to brush our teeth on Thursday!


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