My students viewed writing as a separate subject that did not relate to content areas. My students enjoyed hearing a good book read aloud. Many books used as read-alouds are well- suited to provide a springboard into student writing. Such writing was viewed by my students as fun and did not intimidate them.
When they are exposed to multiple texts that illustrate effective writing, students naturally begin to think about how the techniques can be applied to their own writing. By modeling the process of reading like writers, teachers demonstrate the kind of thinking that will help students improve their own literacy skills. Bill McGinley
Exposing students to a variety of texts through read-alouds and springboarding into writing not only reinforces the content standards but also develops the students as writers. (McGinley) “Writing is thinking and when students write in social studies they must think critically about the events and issues they are studying.” (West Virginia Department of Education)
“Integrating reading and writing leads to more authentic teaching, better reading and writing, and higher test scores.” (Routman) Read-alouds in science can enrich students overall science experiences.( Salley and Young) Integrating writing into the classroom, regardless of subject area, helps students develop literacy skills and allows them to see concepts in different and unique ways.(Firek)
o Number students 1,2,1,2,… o Explain that each student who is #1 will begin a statement with “Fortunately” and each student who is #2 will begin a statement with “Unfortunately”. o Remind students that their statements must be related to the previous statement. o The teacher begins with “One day I went shopping.” o The story continues around the room.
o Students may work alone or with a partner. o Have students choose a time period studied in social studies. (ie. Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, World War I, The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, World War II) o Give students 5-10 minutes to jot down facts about the time period they have chosen.
o Using knowledge of the time period chosen, students will create a story following the pattern of the book Fortunately. o Each story needs at least FIVE positives (fortunately) and FIVE negatives (unfortunately). o Each statement must relate to the previous statement. o Time to share.
Fortunately, the Allies won World War I. Unfortunately, we went into a Great Depression. Fortunately, FDR made the New Deal. Unfortunately, it did not end the Depression. Fortunately, Germany got a new leader. Unfortunately, he was a dictator. Fortunately, France and Great Britain tried to stand against him. Unfortunately, Germany invaded Poland. Fortunately, the Allies won the war.
Fortunately, we had the Twin Towers in NYC. Unfortunately, terrorists destroyed them. Fortunately, we got some people out. Unfortunately, a lot of people died. Fortunately, we figured out who did it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find him. Fortunately, we had clues where he is. Unfortunately, nobody knew for sure. Fortunately, we finally killed him in Pakistan. Unfortunately, his group is after the US once again.
Letters home from soldiers Letters to soldiers from the home front Propaganda posters Military Recruitment posters Speeches delivered by key figures Newspaper articles describing actual events Diary entries
Animal research and writing “A Visit to Outer Space” Life Cycles “Window Views from a Space Ship” “Your Body’s Control System”
Write a fortunately/unfortunately scenario about a time when he/she did not understand a mathematical concept. Poetry Advice Columns (Dear Dr. Pi or Dear Algy) Obituaries of famous mathematicians Write about careers that require the use of mathematics (architect, chemist, engineer, chef, landscape designer, fashion designer, etc.)
While visiting the Hage school in San Diego, I was struck by a very funny sign hanging in the staff restroom. It read, “What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?” Those of us who have been teaching and learning about improving children’s writing know better. We would probably agree that making reading- writing connections is really what it’s all about. Learning to read like a writer, reading to inform your writing, apprenticing yourself to a favorite writer, feeling envious when you read great writing, feeling confident talking about quality writing-that’s what it’s all about.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around those two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” Stephen King