Friday, January 20, 2012

Writer's Workshop- Non-Fiction Writing Unit

Kindergarten kids love to write! They love to draw pictures, tell me about their lives, and even write some letters, sounds, and words they know. Writer's Workshop is one of the greatest part of our days in Kindergarten. The structure for WW that I have been following this year consists of 1. Mini-lesson related to something we are working on during writing time 2. Independent work time/ work with a teacher or conference time 3. Share. I strive to include all three parts in some way during every WW.  This week we transitioned from personal narratives to exploring and trying some of our own non-fiction writing. We even ventured to the world of report writing. These kids ate it up, I even had a few beg to do some report writing during choice time. I love it when that happens! Here's how it went......

Day 1: Introduce Non-fiction writing. We had a great discussion about what non-fiction writing is all about. We read some non-fiction books about animals, places, maps etc. I was excited to hear many kids make a connection to the pumpkin project and book we did this fall. (That will be a whole other blog!)Then we took some time to explore non-fiction books about different kinds of animals. Below, two boys delve into the world of non-fiction animal books.

Day 2: We had another discussion about non-fiction writing and also talked about choosing an animal that was interesting to each child and that they would be able to spend some time "researching". Each student was so excited and many knew exactly what animal they wanted to learn more about!  I introduced the report format we would use for this project and they dove in writing their name on the cover and the name of the animal and a picture to match on the first page. The excitement was awesome!

Day 3: I taught a mini-lesson on "taking notes". I modeled what it looks like to take notes by reading words in a book or looking at the pictures. I was amazed at the information that students recognized and recorded. They worked so hard to find at least 2 facts that they could record in their report. Impressive!

Day 4: The next mini-lesson focused on how non-fiction authors and illustrators often label pictures in their books. We looked through our animal books and found many examples of this. Kindergartners also made connections to labeling pictures in their journals which is an early writing skill and something that we have practiced before. The kids then took some time to draw a detailed, true picture of their animal and practice labeling what they believed to be important parts of their animal. Really cool!

Day 5: I call these days (usually Fridays) "Ketchup and Mustard" days. We use this time to write, "ketchup" on pieces that we need to finish and offer students a chance to reflect on the weeks writing as well as go back and re-read what they have written about in the prior days of writer's workshop. 

We will continue our non-fiction writing unit next week. Some of the things that we will explore are how non-fiction authors use font to highlight important information and many more fun facts about animals. I hope to be able to share some completed reports on this blog soon!

 Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Mrs. Leggett


  1. Thanks for posting this, Mrs. Leggett! It's great to see the kiddos so excited about writing.

  2. Love the blog Mrs Leggett! Siena was just teaching Johnny about non-fiction this morning, and she enjoys classifying the stories we read into fiction and non-fiction.