Recommendations | One of my Favorites from the Incredible First Grade Staff at Highland Elementary
I spent several years working at Highland Elementary school while I was pursuing my teaching degree. One of my favorite assignments the incredible first grade teaching staff sent home was a turkey outline close to Thanksgiving, (see image), and a snow globe outline during winter, (see image), and had students complete a writing assignment. I asked my students to complete the same assignment and cannot tell you how thorough and entertaining the writings were. Would highly recommend the assignment and a possible display on a classroom bulletin board if possible. the students were incredibly excited and really embraced the entire writing process.
Ghost Writing | Lessons can be designed to support any writing standard.
I use this lesson during the month of October and have students focus on anything they deem mysterious. Students take a sharpened, unused pencil and tape an unwrapped sucker to the top, (Dum dums work great). Students then take a tissue, cloth, or whatever you have on hand, fold it in half and in half again to mark the center. Students should then take the tissue and place it over the top of the sucker. Teachers should then tie the cloth on the pencil/sucker combination with yarn. Once the cloth is tied on, students should use a marker to put eyes and a mouth on their "ghost." To enhance the lesson more, I use battery powered candles to place on student tables and turn out the classroom lights once students begin their independent work.
Thank You Letters | Constructed Response Instruction Required
After any event where students have been assisted or offered a good or service, ask then to provide a constructed response thank you letter, (opening thank you sentence, two or three specific events from the day, and a closing sentence), to the person, company, or business that offered the good or service. At the beginning of the year, this process will take the full amount of a 30 minute per day/week, writing block. Toward the end of the third nine weeks or school, third grade students or younger should be able to produce a quality constructed response as a thank you letter in approximately 15 minutes.