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December 18, 2014

Wishful Writing: A Holiday Wish for Loved Ones

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    I mentioned in last week’s post, "Shelfies: A Holiday Gift That Will Last a Lifetime," that I always try to incorporate some form of writing for my holiday gift to parents. Last year I shared about the “I am from” poem, which I love, and you can read more about here. For this year, I wanted students to think about all of the amazing things that they have, while reflecting upon what matters most: family.

     

    Quick Write/Brainstorm

    To start this lesson, I ask the kids to first think about all the things they’ve received in the past for the holidays. This could be for any holiday and not just Christmas. I set the timer for students to discuss with a neighbor and then allow for volunteers to share one thing off their list. I set a timer again, and tell students they are going to write for five minutes about all the things they want for the holidays. They get really excited about this, which makes it the perfect opportunity to get them writing. Display a timer for students to see, or verbally let them know when the time has started. Give them another reminder when the time is almost up. I usually say something like, “There is one minute left so jot down that last thought and finish up.”

    When the timer goes off, you might hear a lot of sighs (great sign). Invite students to write for five more minutes. As students are writing, walk around the room and look at all the writing that is happening. It is usually while making lists of things they want that I see even my most reluctant writers with their pencils moving.

    This time when the timer goes off, I ask students to come to the front of the room and read one thing that they wrote on their list. As students read from their list, I write on the board what they want.

    Once that is complete, I ask students to think about something that their parents or family members have given them that did not cost money. This question requires more wait time and clarification. To point my students in the right direction, I give an example of my husband giving our children his time when he sits down to have cookies and milk with them after dinner. Then I ask if anyone else has an example of something their parents give them that doesn’t come from a store.

    Students start calling out ideas and I write them on the board while underlining the abstract noun in each (time together, happy to see me, care for me, love me). As I write these ideas on the board, I separate them from my “concrete nouns” list that has not been labeled yet.

     

    Work Together to Compare

    After we have a good amount of examples on the board (four or five of each), I ask the class to compare the two lists and say what they notice. When they talk mostly about the cool things on the "want list" I have them elaborate. I then get more specific responses such as, “things you can buy, or see a lot of.” Then I shift their attention to the second list and ask them to focus on how it might be different from the first. I ask students to turn to a partner to share their response. This gives me the opportunity to observe and listen in on conversations.

    We gather back and I allow for more talking as a group, which leads to the difference between an abstract noun and a concrete noun (insert teachable moment). We compare the differences between the two, and discuss why the words listed are concrete or abstract. The whole-class conversation allows for a more authentic learning and understanding of the topic. I even try to get words written that we are unsure of, which then prompts students to research further and prove if the noun is abstract or concrete.

    Students are given the direction to go back into their writer’s notebooks and think of as many abstract nouns that they love and cherish about their family. I set the timer again. This time it is set for ten minutes and students go back and write.

    When the time is up, we go back to the front of the room and share again. This allows the ideas of others to encourage those who struggle to think of ideas on their own.

     

    Create Poems

    To end our writing time together, students take all that they have written and finesse it into a poem.

    I put this template on the docucamera and remind students that it is only a template. They can create, change, and even choose to not use my template. It is there as a starting point.

    The template has a poem starter for students and then requires them to list five things (concrete) they want for the holiday. The bottom two stanzas of the poem require students to write about what they really love about the holidays, which involve more of the abstract nouns in the poem.

    I create a sample with them first. I ask for any questions and then let students work independently on their own piece. When students are finished writing their rough draft on paper, they can print the template from Google Docs, and fill it out.

    Students finish this two-day lesson with their second and third grade poetic words on paper for parents to have as a keepsake and a better understanding of concrete and abstract nouns.

    Thank you for reading. I hope you have a very merry holiday season. I look forward to sharing more in the New Year.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

     

    Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.

    I mentioned in last week’s post, "Shelfies: A Holiday Gift That Will Last a Lifetime," that I always try to incorporate some form of writing for my holiday gift to parents. Last year I shared about the “I am from” poem, which I love, and you can read more about here. For this year, I wanted students to think about all of the amazing things that they have, while reflecting upon what matters most: family.

     

    Quick Write/Brainstorm

    To start this lesson, I ask the kids to first think about all the things they’ve received in the past for the holidays. This could be for any holiday and not just Christmas. I set the timer for students to discuss with a neighbor and then allow for volunteers to share one thing off their list. I set a timer again, and tell students they are going to write for five minutes about all the things they want for the holidays. They get really excited about this, which makes it the perfect opportunity to get them writing. Display a timer for students to see, or verbally let them know when the time has started. Give them another reminder when the time is almost up. I usually say something like, “There is one minute left so jot down that last thought and finish up.”

    When the timer goes off, you might hear a lot of sighs (great sign). Invite students to write for five more minutes. As students are writing, walk around the room and look at all the writing that is happening. It is usually while making lists of things they want that I see even my most reluctant writers with their pencils moving.

    This time when the timer goes off, I ask students to come to the front of the room and read one thing that they wrote on their list. As students read from their list, I write on the board what they want.

    Once that is complete, I ask students to think about something that their parents or family members have given them that did not cost money. This question requires more wait time and clarification. To point my students in the right direction, I give an example of my husband giving our children his time when he sits down to have cookies and milk with them after dinner. Then I ask if anyone else has an example of something their parents give them that doesn’t come from a store.

    Students start calling out ideas and I write them on the board while underlining the abstract noun in each (time together, happy to see me, care for me, love me). As I write these ideas on the board, I separate them from my “concrete nouns” list that has not been labeled yet.

     

    Work Together to Compare

    After we have a good amount of examples on the board (four or five of each), I ask the class to compare the two lists and say what they notice. When they talk mostly about the cool things on the "want list" I have them elaborate. I then get more specific responses such as, “things you can buy, or see a lot of.” Then I shift their attention to the second list and ask them to focus on how it might be different from the first. I ask students to turn to a partner to share their response. This gives me the opportunity to observe and listen in on conversations.

    We gather back and I allow for more talking as a group, which leads to the difference between an abstract noun and a concrete noun (insert teachable moment). We compare the differences between the two, and discuss why the words listed are concrete or abstract. The whole-class conversation allows for a more authentic learning and understanding of the topic. I even try to get words written that we are unsure of, which then prompts students to research further and prove if the noun is abstract or concrete.

    Students are given the direction to go back into their writer’s notebooks and think of as many abstract nouns that they love and cherish about their family. I set the timer again. This time it is set for ten minutes and students go back and write.

    When the time is up, we go back to the front of the room and share again. This allows the ideas of others to encourage those who struggle to think of ideas on their own.

     

    Create Poems

    To end our writing time together, students take all that they have written and finesse it into a poem.

    I put this template on the docucamera and remind students that it is only a template. They can create, change, and even choose to not use my template. It is there as a starting point.

    The template has a poem starter for students and then requires them to list five things (concrete) they want for the holiday. The bottom two stanzas of the poem require students to write about what they really love about the holidays, which involve more of the abstract nouns in the poem.

    I create a sample with them first. I ask for any questions and then let students work independently on their own piece. When students are finished writing their rough draft on paper, they can print the template from Google Docs, and fill it out.

    Students finish this two-day lesson with their second and third grade poetic words on paper for parents to have as a keepsake and a better understanding of concrete and abstract nouns.

    Thank you for reading. I hope you have a very merry holiday season. I look forward to sharing more in the New Year.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

     

    Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.

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