Two weeks ago, I taught a mini lesson to some first grade writers…
“Today I want to teach you that writer’s don’t just tell readers their opinion right away. Writers say “hello” to the reader first. Writers can say “hello” by asking a question or using sound words.”
Earlier this week, I was back coaching writing conferences in the same room.
The teacher, the writer and I are gathered around the table. The teacher has her conferring notebook, the student has her book with just her title-My School- and I have my iPad.
“Tell me about your writing, ” asks the teacher.
“I’m writing about my school,” she whispers back, eyes downcast.
“What kind of book are you making? Will this be an opinion book where you tell us how you feel about a topic, an informational book where you teach us about a topic, or a narrative book where you tell us about a time? asked the teacher.
“Let’s work together to make a plan for your book. Here’s your first page. What will you put on this page?” the teacher asks as she turns to the first page in the book.
“What is your opinion?”
“I like school.”
“That sounds like a strong opinion. Is that all you will put on this page?” asked the teacher.
“I could say, “hello” she offers, her head turning slightly toward me. A smile peeks out at me.
“How will you choose to say, “hello”? asked the teacher.
She peeks over to me again. This time a bit braver, showing more of her face. “I could use sound words.” The smile is a bit bigger this time.
“What sound words could you use?”
“Yay, yay, yay!” she supplies with a full on look at me. Her eyes sparkle. She knows she has just made my day!