Sunday, May 5, 2013

CCSS: Opinion Writing: Squish the Ant?

My students still need to work on opinion writing.  They get the idea that you write your opinion but some still struggle with writing enough details that support your opinion.  There are only some many times I can read an article or book  with them, discuss it, and have them write about their opinion. Luckily, I was looking for fun read alouds in my classroom and found my copy of Hey, Little Ant, which reminded me of an idea I saw on pinterest from Peace, Love, and Kindergarten.

Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose is a wonderful picture book. A boy is about to step on
an ant when the ant starts talking to him to try to convince him not to squish him.  The book ends asking if you think the boy will squish the ant and we never know if the boy does.
After listening to it, we talked about whether we thought the boy did and if he should.  We made a list of reasons to and not to squish the ant.  Then they had to write an paragraph stating
their opinion: should the boy squish the ant? They needed to state their opinion in the first
sentence, include 3 or more reasons that support their opinion, and then restate their
opinion in the closing sentence.  Most of my students wrote that the boy should not squish the ant but I did tell them that it is their opinion, so it can’t be wrong as long as they can support it.  And since they love crafty stuff, I cut paper and made a sample with a head and glasses as a topper (idea from Peace, Love, and Kindergarten).  Not surprisingly, my kids came up with other ideas (I love that they have such great ideas and are willing to ask if they can do something a bit differently.=>)  Some made a giant shoe about to squish the paper and a few others made a giant ant.  I'll post pictures once they are finished.  I made two writing papers.  If you don't want to make the paragraph topper, there is one with a box for an illustration.  I also made a rubric for easy grading.  Students want to get as close to a 4.0 as possible.  I've used rubrics like this all year so the kids know that they want as many 4s as possible. :)

                                                Click here to grab it for free from my TpT store. 

Enjoy and I'll love to hear feedback if you use it!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
~Colleen =>

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Diary of a ..... (Life Cycle Writing)

Wow, it's much harder to find the time to blog and post on TpT when it isn't spring break.  The beginning and end of the year is always so busy. We have 28 days left and the kiddos are starting to show that they are done.  (I probably am too).
Anyways, I had a request for a diary of a butterfly, chick, and hamster. (See previous post frog life cycle for more information on the writing activity).  Figured why not post them as well since I made them!  Second grade at my school actually watches butterflies grow so it's perfect for them. They would be able to add a lot of detail since they get to watch it as it happens.  The file includes 3 different cover pages.  Click the link below to download  from my TPT store!

                                   download "diary of a butterfly" for free from my TpT store

And if you want to complete the activity about the life cycle of a chicken, click the link below the picture.
                                      download "diary of a chick" for free from my TpT store

Enjoy!! =>