During the month of January our class will work on procedural writing. Following is a list of activities that we will focus on.
~Introduction to Procedural Writing
To begin the unit the teacher will orally give directions to the class. Make the directions rather vague and unclear. For example, first draw a square on the paper, next draw a triangle close to the square, then make two small squares inside the first square. Now draw a rectangle inside the first square. Finally, draw a wavy line under the first square. As the teacher is giving the directions do not answer questions and tell the students to do the best job they can.
On the second trial give the same directions only include lots of details being very specific as to where the various shapes should be drawn.
Discuss the difference of the two ways to give directions or tell how to do something. Why is it important to be very specific when giving directions? What are some words we use when giving directions?
~Procedural Writing with Pirates
A great lesson for grades 2-4 using the book Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long can be found here.
Tumble Books Pirates Don't Change Diapers.
~How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Students write the directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Next another student tries to follow the directions. Did your partner include all the steps to making the sandwich?
After the partner work, students will rewrite their directions to include any steps they missed. The partners follow the directions again. Were the directions better the second time?
~How to Blow a Bubble with Bubble Gum
Give students a piece of bubble gum. They will chew the gum and blow a bubble. As they enjoy their gum, students write the procedure for blowing a bubble.
Next, students draw their face on a paper plate (be sure to draw the face large enough to fill the plate). Then blow up a pink balloon and knot it, poke the knot through the mouth to come out the back of the plate. Secure with masking tape. Attach the face and procedural writing paper to a large piece of construction paper for display.
~How to Build an Edible Snowman
Provide students with a variety of snowman building materials: marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, pretzels, small carrot wedges, etc. Students will use the materials to build a snowman and write the directions.
After their snowman is built students will enjoy their treat!