Saturday, January 26, 2013

How-to Writing

Hey bloggers!

Last week, my kiddos started learning about How-to Books! Until this point, they had only been writing true stories about their own lives. So I was they were very excited to start something new!

I introduced how-to writing by giving my own example...I chose How to Make Hot Cocoa! I started with a blank mug on my chart paper. I explained that it is much easier to write directions for something that you actually know how to do, and making hot cocoa is something that I do a lot during the winter! So I closed my eyes and started to picture making hot cocoa. I also used my hands to act it out as I was talking through the steps. After that, the kids helped me write the steps.

I decided to have the steps on separate paper that I taped on because on day 2 we were focusing on making sure that our steps were in the right order. So on day 2 I read the steps in the wrong order as the kids closed their eyes and acted out what I read. {they loved this!} They all laughed because they knew immediately that the steps were in the wrong order. They then helped me put them in the correct order on the chart.

On day 3, we created a how-to chart about writing how-to books!
Since then we have talked about adding a title page, adding labels to our pictures, and adding warnings to our directions. We came back to our hot cocoa how to and added step 6 drink it!, and then *Warning: Be careful, the hot cocoa might be hot!

The kids are really enjoying the how-to books they are writing...and I am too! It's definitely a nice change. And it's funny to read their perceptions of how things are done! And the warnings that they add in are usually pretty funny too! :)

I will be introducing our how-to checklist and then the kids will start fixing up their books and choosing their favorite for publishing! Here is a {Writing Helpers} set that I've put together. It's full of things that I use with my class during writer's workshop!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)


  1. My kids love writing How-To's as well. It's fun watching them read their pieces to their writing partners who try to act it out.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Great ideas! We are just about to start our How-to unit too. It will be quite refreshing after doing personal narratives for so long. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    I actually have a free How-to writing topic graphic organizer up on my page right now for free. I would love it if you would stop by my page.

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

    Compassionate Teacher


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