Monday, September 15, 2014

Using 'Pete The Cat' As A Mentor Text For Interactive Writing!

This year as a district the kindergarten staff decided to start the year with a month of interactive writing.
I love interactive writing, so this was music to my ears!

Come October, we will begin Writers Workshop and are hoping that the month of writing 'training' and 'guiding' will help make it easier for our kinders as they embark on becoming an independent writer!

So last week we used 'Pete the Cat' as our inspiration for writing!
The children are familiar with him and love 'singing his song' so it was a perfect way to engage them!

I also have a 'Pete the Cat' take home bag program- this would be the perfect way to get them excited about having their chance to take Pete home for the weekend!
Each weekend a child takes this bag home. It has a plush Pete, 'Pete the Cat' books and games, Pete's Adventure Journal & Pete printable activities!

Before getting the chance to take it home, each child must bring back this permission slip:

This weekend I took Pete home so that I can model how to complete the adventure journal!

Pete stays at your house until Tuesday morning. Then the children share his adventure journal (parents write in what Pete did; children draw or glue in digital photos of them and Pete) with the class and I take him home to get 'washed up' for his next adventure!

So to get them excited about Pete's visits, we started with his most 'famous' story as our 'mentor text':

We used this book to make a color 'chart' for our classroom
Since it is the beginning of kindergarten, I basically focused on just initial sounds for the children to write when they came up to 'share' the pen.  As we became more familiar with interactive writing throughout the week, I had them add in more letters for sounds they heard.

The chart was hung in our classroom for reference throughout the week, but I then cut it apart to add the color words to our word wall:

And for independent 'writing' time each child chose a color and made a picture of items using only that color.  I was so impressed by these that had such great attention to detail:

Some students chose to copy the color word from the chart to add to their page!

I bound the pages together using a binder ring to make a class book that we will hang in our book nook (class library).

We also used the book to make a fun 'Pete' class book:

They are already reading this one with excitement-and independence, during Readers Workshop!

Next up was...
This story/song was so familiar to the students that even the few pages that were not 'traditional' did not throw them off!

For this one we practiced making sentences of things we see on a bus:
We had also just learned our first sight word, 'A,' so I had them practice writing and finding that word, as well!

Rather than make a class book we made a bus craft as our follow up.

This was one of our first 'go-rounds' with scissors!
They only had to cut out the pre-traced bus.  I had the wheels and windows pre-cut.

I had them reference our class 'story' of items we see on a bus to fill in the windows on their buses.

 I wanted to display our great early year writing and I couldn't have hoped for it to come out any better!  

Our next 'mentor text' was...

We used it as a springboard to discuss things that make us happy!

And when it was time for independent 'writing' I guided them to draw a picture of something that makes them happy.  Here are a few I chose to highlight:

I encouraged them to 'write' but the only writing I got was their names, so during snack time I 'conferenced' with each student so that I could write their idea for them.

Our last 'Pete the Cat' 'mentor text' was a re-read of a story we read the second day of school:

When we first read it, we discussed places in a school and then went on a tour around our school to find all of them.

This time we used it to list places in our school:

As you can see from the beginning of the week to the end, the amount of letters they wrote increased!  I also took another 'leap'..I handed out dry erase boards, markers and socks (erasers) so that students not writing could write too:

So as a student came up to add to our list:

The others wrote that letter at the same time on their own boards:

Some tried to copy the words, other just practiced the individual letters..but everyone was engaged!

And when it was time for independent writing, they were sent back to illustrate a place in our school:
This child said 'it's noisy there because of the instruments!'

I love this rendition of the HUGE gym floor!

Look at the details he is including already- sun and grass!

This is the children looking out the classroom you see the grass!

AMAZING details of the nurse's office!  

And to a 5 year old, the lunchroom probably does look like just a bunch of long tables!!!

Our library does have bookshelves that are in a 'circular' pattern, so his rendition was spot on!

I put a few of our interactive writing charts up for display along with Pete:
They were so excited when they came in the next morning and saw Pete!

Pete is now ready to for his first family visit and we are ready to continue working on interactive writing for another 2 weeks!

I have a 'Cool Cat' sampler for free in my TPT store if you are in search of some fun, free and 'groovy' goodies:

Be sure to come back and visit to see how our interactive writing continued to grow!
Until next post,
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  1. More great ideas! Thank you for sharing your mentor text activities! Your kiddos are lucky to have you, Jennifer!

    One Sharp Bunch

  2. Thank you SO much for gotta love Pete the Cat! I just left you a note on the feedback of this product in your TpT store, but just in case you don't see it (I'm trying to get much better at looking at ALL my feedback ;) Last year I made some Pete the Cat decor's kind of a mish-mash of stuff, but it's all free if you're interested :)

    Stephanie Ann
    Sparkling in Kindergarten blog
    Stephanie Ann (TpT Store)

  3. What a great start to the year ! I love your theme
    of Pete the Cat and using him and his stories to engage
    students in writing. Thanks so much for sharing !

    Ms. D's Literacy Lab

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Do you sell this on your TPT page? I would love to buy a copy

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