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Archive for the ‘Third Grade Writing’ Category

postheadericon Writing: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

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Writing with: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.


Educator Station is back for another year in third grade! After having the summer to create lesson plans and activities to meet the Common Core Standards, it was time to return to a new school year. It has been a very busy start to the school year, students returning to see their friends, new students adjusting to a new school, and students and teachers adjusting to a new routine and schedule. Now, that we have been in school a couple of weeks, I wanted to establish a daily writing routine. I began with the book,  "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."


This year, we are using Project Read Written Expression to teach writing.



Project Read Written Expression teaches students to build sentences using symbols. The subject has a symbol, the verb has a symbol, and each expander has a symbol. My students have been working on subject nouns, action verbs, and the "where" and "when" expanders.  

I wanted my students to begin writing sentences with two expanders and I also wanted to model the Writing Process. To do this, I read the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." This is one of my favorite books and I couldn't wait to read this aloud to my students.


Activate Prior Knowledge and Brainstorm:

I had all my students sit with me on the rug and we talked about what it's like when we have a bad day. Students shared some stories and we had some discussion about bad days. When I was ready to read, I talked about good readers having a purpose for reading. Today, I wanted to read this story, so we could write about Alexander and what he did during his day. I told my students to listen for action verbs in the story.





When I was done reading, I asked the students to share some of the action verbs they heard in the story. I listed their responses on chart paper. On the top of the paper, I wrote Alexander, so students would know how to spell his name. You will also see the symbol for action verbs on the top of the paper. 




Rough Draft and Editing:

Once we were done brainstorming, the students returned to their seats to complete a graphic organizer. This would also be their rough draft paper. 

As you can see, the students had a subject, a verb, a "Where?" expander and "When?" expander. 


As students completed their graphic organizer, I met with each student briefly to make sure they had correct sentence structure, spelling, and their ideas made sense. I edited during each conference and helped students complete three sentences.


Final Draft:

When the students were done, I wanted students to begin thinking about sentences and how sentences together make a paragraph. As a class, we brainstormed a topic sentence and all students used that sentence to begin their paragraph. Their three details were the sentences on their graphic organizer. I also modeled a chapter book to show them how sentences went one after the other. 

I gave my students a lined paper and asked them to write their paragraph. 

This is an example:



I was very pleased with the lesson and thought it went well. I definately will do this again next year. 


This lesson addressed:

1. A read aloud with class discussion

2. Students wrote sentences independantly with a subject, verb, and two expanders, which responded to literature, on a graphic organizer

3. Students used the Writing Process to complete their writing 

4. Students began writing paragraphs with the knowledge that a paragraph has a topic sentence and three details. We will build more on the paragraph in the next lesson. 


postheadericon Comparing and Contrasting: Stellaluna


One of my most favorite books to read to my students is Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. This year, in third grade, I incorporated this read aloud into a compare and contrast writing activity. 





After I read the book to my students, I used this graphic organizer to brainstorm facts about bats and birds. I modeled this using my Doc Cam. When we were done, this is what our graphic organizer looked like:




To download this PDF, click on the image below:


compare and contrast


Next, I used this paper to model how to write a compare and contrast paragraph. My students were familiar with the term "compare and contrast," but they weren't sure how to put their thoughts into sentences and the sentences into paragraphs. To model how to write a compare and contrast essay, I created this graphic organizer for my students to organize their facts and create their paragraphs. 

This is an example of what it looked like when we were done. 




To download this PDF, click on the image below:

Stellaluna compare and contrast


I had the students work in pairs to create their paragraphs. Once they were done, they then wrote their compare and contrast paragraphs on this "Bats and Birds" paper. They did a great job! Overall, I was pleased with their writing and my students enjoyed the writing process. 



To download this PDF, click on the image below:

bats and birds

postheadericon Writing: Project Read Written Expression in the Third Grade



Writing in the Third Grade

       This year, one of my goals is to bring our writing program, Written Expression, up to the third grade. Project Read Written Expression is taught from kindergarten through second grade in our building. But now the question is, what about third and fourth grade?  As always, bringing a new curriculum into higher grade levels means training for the teachers, mapping out the curriculum, and deciding what skills each grade level will be teaching. 


      To begin the year, I started teaching my students about a sentence. I spent a couple of weeks reviewing what a great sentence has and what a great sentence looks like. As you can see, we started simply with a capital letter, spaces, and punctuation. We also reviewed that a sentence has two parts, a subject and a predicate. Then, I started to introduce the expanders. We have had some practice with the "Where" expander, so I thought it time to practice writing a few sentences. 



A fun activity using expanders:

I collected some magazines and catalogs and cut out some pictures and laminated them. When I was looking for pictures I thought about finding a picture that had a clear subject noun, a verb, and a "Where" expander. 



Then, I gave each student a graphic organizer to build their sentence. I had the kids in small groups of six, and each student had a partner within the group. 

I put a picture at each table. The students moved from table to table and wrote a sentence about what was happening in the picture. 




When the students were done, they had five great sentences about each picture. We are off to a great start! Now, we begin the paragraph writing! 



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