Stage 2: Consolidation / Fluency
Stage 3: Literacy for Growth
Text Structures & Genres
This is an example of how I use practical skills in my classroom and then link it to literacy. Every year at the beginning of the school year, I have the children create little pillows for them to use throughout the year. They design the fabric, both sides, they use a sewing machine to sew around the edges, they stuff the pillow, and then I teach them how to hand-sew it shut. They use these pillows sometimes at their desks and sometimes if were doing an activity on the carpet. The children love that feeling of holding something squishy, and soft, and warm when they're doing some activities.
I also make them write about making their pillow. And with this procedural writing, I had trouble over the years because the children would get bogged down in the details, because as I explained it to you, there are so many different things that they did to create the pillow. So I came up with the idea of using a comic, four panels of a comic, in order for them to filter out the salient information that they want to tell about making a pillow. I was inspired by the plastic pages of photo holders, and I used paper inserts for the children to write their sentences and to do their illustrations. And of course, I also took a picture of them proudly holding their pillow, because they worked very hard to make it.
The goal of Pillow Making: Practicing Procedural Writing (Virtual Tour) is to provide students with an opportunity to practice procedural writing using a four-square organizer.
- Linking real-life experiences to literacy is engaging and provides opportunities for hands-on activities.
- Look for fabric remnants at a local fabric store.