Sunday, March 9, 2014

Teaching 'How To' Writing To Kinders!

This year we switched from writing 'expert books' to 'how to' books for Writers Workshop.
We will be entering week 3- where I will be sending them off to come up with topics on their own, but had a great time teaching them the components of 'how to' with a lot of visuals, fun and food!

We started by reading How To Make Bubbles that comes from a series of 'how to' books written by Pebble Go.  We 'analyzed' the book and listed what made it a 'how to' book:

From there we read about making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and made 'mock' sandwiches by demonstrating the steps using paper props!  I don't have any peanut allergies, but I wanted this to be a 'quick' demonstration- and was afraid if we had real food it would have taken MUCH longer!

Our 'props' and story

First we lay out the bread...

 Then spread the peanut butter...

 Next add some jelly...

 And last put the other slice on top!

The children then drew pictures to show what they did- and some even opted to add words!

From there we worked in a few 'fold out' how to books....
We were doing a dental health unit, so I used this one!

And since snowman building was OH SO familiar this winter, this how to was a breeze! 

We also incorporated our 'how to' unit into Read Across America week and told 'how to' make a cat in the hat food snack!  You can read about the entire process from my earlier blog post found here!

And also into our '100 Day' Festivities!  Read all about those adorable books here

So now it was time to show a how to from start to finish and in many different ways- a chart, a flip out book and a story they wrote on their own!  Every kid I know LOVES I went with that!

We read Pizza Pat by Rita Goldman Gelman.  It's a fun story to the 'tune' of  'The House That Jack Built' that tells how a pizza goes from dough to delicious (with a surprise ending!)
I had the 'steps' for making pizza on cardstock and I handed them out to the kids.  We did a 'human sequencing' activity to get the steps in order and then used interactive writing to sequence our steps.

From there I had them make a fold-out sequencing activity.  They were given the option to use the pictures I had provided or to draw their own.

From there we made paper pizzas- following all the steps we had outlined on our chart (less the cooking and eating!)
I LOVE how these pizzas came out...
the very detailed almost real looking pizza!

the bold and colorful pizza- 'the works!'

 the 'extra cheesy' pizza!

the 'plain cheese' pizza!

and the 'funny face' pizza!
(she told me in her house they make their own pizzas into funny faces and then Daddy cooks them- how precious!)

They used the chart we made, references to the fold out book and their paper pizzas to help them complete their 'How To Make A  Pizza' books!

'roll the dough'

'spread the sauce'

'spread cheese'

Step 4 varied..for some who did not want any toppings it looked like this: 
'cook the pizza'

And for others... 
'put the toppings on'

and each book had an author page
'cook it and you eat it'

Here is my 'funny face pizza' author's book from step 1 to 4.  I LOVE how her drawing is EXACTLY like the paper pizza she created! 
'roll the dough'

'spread the sauce'

'sprinkle the cheese'

'add toppings'

'cook it then eat'

But our fun and knowledge of 'how to make a pizza' did not end there!
To 'end' our week of pizza fun, I wanted them to really SHOW me how to make a pizza- BUT- how would I cook them?  I decided to make cookie pizzas- and originally was going to just use a sugar cookie as the dough/crust, but fell upon an edible sugar cookie recipe!  Now they could actually 'roll the dough'!

I gathered the ingredients...
M&Ms (red, green & brown)=toppings

Each child had their own plate with a ball of 'dough' and spreading stick...
We passed out the remaining ingredients and then it was 'show time!'

Step 1: Roll the Dough

Step 2: Spread the sauce

Step 3: Sprinkle the cheese

Step 4: Add the Toppings 

AND...the finished product!  It looks SO real!

I had each of them make a chef hat in the am, as well as the badge "Ask Me How To Make A Pizza!'

And when it came to step 5...
EVERYONE LOVE their cookie pizza- and were able to tell me the steps!

And now our whole school knows what we have been working on with this tasty bulletin board!

Considering doing the same in your class?
All the components mentioned above, as well as project ideas, are detailed in this pack:

You can find the How To Build A Snowman pack HERE:

and if you are working on Dental Health, this How to Take Care of Your Teeth can be found HERE:

Recently added...

and in these new packs:
I included a sequencing craftivity to help verbalize how to make a cake:

and how to grow a flower:

You can find ALL of my 'how to' packs in this money saving bundle:

As I add 'how to' packs to my store, they will be added to this bundle.  If you already own it, you will get the additions at no additional cost!

So this coming week I send them off ready to write their own 'how to' books!
I am guessing I am going to get A LOT of 'how to catch a leprechaun' books, as this is what we will be talking about a lot this week!

I'd love to hear some suggestions on other ways to teach 'How To' Books!

Until next post,
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  1. We are starting our "how to" unit tomorrow so your posts have been perfect to give me some great ideas to use! One book I love to use during this unit is "Growing Vegetable Soup." It's perfect since the weather is getting warmer finally. I am definitely going to add Pizza Pat to my list of mentor books :)

  2. We already did this unit and the kids had a ball. I found something on TPT on how to catch a snowflake with your tongue. It was a freebie and had the cutest art project with it. We also did how to make a s'more which I found somewhere as well. I did Pizza Pat like you suggested earlier in the year when we did p. love the cookie idea! Kindergarten should be fun!! I have to get your pizza unit!

  3. I LOVE this! Love how you made the PB&J and pizza! So creative and concrete. You make me want to make a "how-to" book!!!

  4. Where do I get those fold out books? I love them!!! please let me know

    1. Hi Claudia,
      You can find the fold-out books in the 'How To Writing' packs listed above. Simply click on the product covers and it will take you to them on Teachers Pay Teachers.
      Thanks for asking,

  5. Great post, Jennifer! We just started our how to writing unit today with some mentor texts, so I'm happy I got to read your post. I have some great ideas now!


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