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A Kindergarten Writers Workshop Unit from WritingFix
sharing ideas & adaptations that help make Kindergarten Writers Workshop a reality

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About the Author:

Jodie Black is a full-time kindergartner teacher in Northern Nevada. She became a Teacher Consultant for the Northern Nevada Writing Project in 1990, served as its Co-director between 2001-2006, and has been involved with dozens of the NNWP's professional development projects focused on writing instruction. One of Jodie's favorite NNWP projects was when she served as coordinator of the Six by Six Guide: Trait Writing with Primary Writers.

Unit Five:

All About...
Posters
A Step Toward Non-Fiction in a New Format

This unit was created by Jodie Black, who uses it during January with her kindergartners.

The series “Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum” by Lucy Calkins was an inspiration for much of my work. By reading this series and making some important, heavy modifications for kindergarten, my students were able to do some fabulous writing. I very much recommend Calkins’ Units of Study; using my ideas in conjunction with hers has brought writers workshop in reach of my kindergartners.

 

Welcome to the fifth on-line unit for my Kindergarten Writers Workshop.

I have a rule in my classroom that the children have to be able to do more of the work on a project than I do for them. “All About Posters” gave us a way to tackle non-fiction topics in a manageable way. The children were able to keep track of their topics, order their facts and arrange their posters independently.

I cut the “All About Posters” writing pages into thirds and put them into numbered pockets in our Paper Buffet. Just like with our small moments work (from Unit 2), the children chose their numbered fact pages one at a time. I spent one lesson showing the children how to title a legal sized sheet of paper (Example: All About Cats) and then glue the fact sheets to it in order. Many times two legal sized pages had to be glued together the long way to accommodate all the fact sheets.

Click here for the All About... Poster organizer that you will need to have lots of copies on-hand during this unit; this graphic organizer was adapted from Lucy Calkins' All About Books Unit of Study.


Unit Five. These lessons are intended to be taught in January, after you have completed the first four units Jodie has posted; however, we know (and welcome) other teachers' adaptations.

  • Lesson 1: We started this unit with a Snap to Spell list adding the words “all” and “about.”
  • Lesson 2: When a child decided to make a poster, the student had to tell me and tell me what his/her topic was going to be. This remained necessary because for example, Mackenzie, who had just started gymnastics class wanted to make many posters about that topic. That was fine with me, but we had to talk over how each poster could be different even though the big topic was the same. So Mackenzie had a poster about the gymnastics teacher and another one about the activities at gymnastics and a third about the equipment at gymnastics.
  • Lesson 3: The hardest part about “All About Posters” was trying to make sure we wrote facts and not opinions. Frankly, I eventually had to loosen up on this rule because kindergartners were just insistent on saying they LOVED cats if they were making a poster about cats!
  • Lesson 4: It turned out that one fact per fact sheet was the single most effective assistant in making sure that a sentence had one capital and a period at the end. It emphasized that a sentence is one complete thought.
  • Lesson 5: We hung all of our posters in the hallway outside our classroom and with the feeling that passersby would enjoy reading them and learning from them, we made an extra effort to read and reread our own posters and those of others.

A Student Sample from Jodie's Classroom
Unit 5

Click here to print these student samples.


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