The first activity was to make playdough in the microwave. As a class we discussed how we would do this ensuring we looked at the success criteria as we went along. A lot of scaffolding was required so the process was completed correctly. I said that I was an alien and had never made playdough so the steps had to be very clear. This was our shared procedure that included a purpose, materials, steps and a conclusion - all the parts of a procedural piece of writing.
How to make Microwave Playdough
Purpose - to make playdough to play with.
The second activity involved making animal and insect trackers. Rachel from Kids Greening Taupō came to talk to Room 12 about how to make the trackers. Group work encouraged students to share ideas and practise writing their steps.
How to make Trackers
Purpose - to see by the tracks, which type of animals and insects went through the tracker.
When we looked at the trackers we saw that there were pests in the school gully. Room 12 decided to make traps.
In the last two writing steps students used the word “Then” repeatedly. During modelling I explained how we could incorporate different sentence starters such as Next, Firstly, Secondly, Lastly. Charlie's example of writing where he has used these sentence starters to enhance his writing.
How to Make Pest Traps
Purpose - pest control.
First up we hammered some wood together to make a square shape. Second, we needed some staples and hammered the wire and grabbed a t-rex trap. Next we put some bait on the trap and put it in the wooden box.
We can use the traps in the gully or the village.
Written by Charlie
Hands-on activities, sharing of ideas in groups, and incorporating the interests of the students , meant writing became focused and interesting. Providing different sentence starters provided a higher level of writing. Scaffolding became less as the students showed more confidence and independence in their writing.
Our next step is to independently write procedures about how to make a bird feeder- the ‘you do.’ I’m looking forward to seeing how much the class has learned during these writing sessions and how they can write with increasing independence using the format required for this style of writing.