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Explicit teaching of text structure is necessary. It helps students comprehend what they read and it improves writing organization. There are five steps involved in effective teaching of writing forms. Simple games area an excellent way to teach procedural writing.
1. Students are first immersed in the form of writing by reading the form of writing.
2. Problem solving activities enable children to construction their own knowledge about the text structure.
3. Modelled writing involved the teacher modelling writing of the form for children. This includes all steps of the writing process - prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish.
4. In guided writing, students work with a partner or in a small group to write a piece of writing.
5. Through this process, the children gradually are able to independently writing in the form.
Immerse students proce
dural writing. Show them examples of the form and read to them.
These might be books, posters, charts. Have lots of examples of procedural writing available in the classroom.
The Kids Cottage Games Book
Let's Play: Traditional Games of Childhood
Sidewalk Games Around the World
The Little Piggy: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games, and Pantomime Rhymes
On the Web
Jump Rope Rhymes
First Nations Games Played at Calgary Stampede
Low Organized Games
Problem Solving Activities
Problem solving activities help children construct knowledge. Using one of the texts that children were immersed in, create activities that help children discover the structure or organization of the writing.
Direct Model -
The teacher poses questions about the parts of the text. In this example the teacher has written the organizational marker (title, beginning, middle, end) on the left side of the text and the purpose of that part of the writing on the right. If this is done on a language experience chart, students can refer to the model throughout all of the steps of the writing process.
Text Reconstruction -
For primary students, write the procedure on sentence strips and place jumbled up strips in a pocket chart. Work as a class or in small groups to reconstruct the writing in the order that follows the textual structure and makes sense. For intermediate and middle years students, provide partners of students with an envelope of typed sentence strips. Together partners work at reconstructing the text.
The following texts can be cut apart and placed in envelopes. Students can reconstruct and label the parts.
The following text is a sample text written by a group of grade 1 students. It can be placed on sentence strips and used in a pocket chart with primary students.
How to Play Hopscotch.doc
In the picture below, students reconstruct pictures and text for playing Hopscotch.
A child learns to ride a bike with lots of encouragement and modelling. This same principal can be applied to writing. Students need the opportunity to see how a proficient writer thinks.
allows the teacher to model his/her thought process as she writes. Modelling is appropriate for every grade level. The teacher can and should model all steps of the writing process. Below are pictures of organizers for modelling prewriting.
Shared and Guided Writing
, teachers and students to share the pen. Shared texts can be created on any topic. For playground games, teach students a game. Use the writing class to jointly write the instructions for the game.
Students benefit from working with a partner in
. In the picture below, grade one students are making a chart about how to play Hopscotch.
Gradually students become
. This whole process was explained by Vygotsky in his gradual release of responsibility model.
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Both the student and teacher are proud of high quality work done independently. Games and physical activity are enjoyed by children. By linking them to the writing process, students feel that play and active living are truly valued.
Below we see grade one students independently writing a step for playing Hopscotch on a sentence strip. Participants in this guided reading group each wrote one or two of the steps for the game. All steps were then combined to make one set of instructions for playing this game.
Digital photos were taken and provided a scaffold for students to write independently. The pictures were scrambled and put into the order of the steps of the game. There was lots and lots or oral language as students talked through the order of the steps and pictures. The careful scaffolding enabled the students to write independently without difficulty.
Hopscotch Games and Patterns
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