Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October Writing Unit

Wow, I can't believe that it is October already! It seems like just yesterday that I started working on creating this new blog, and then in the blink of an eye it's October! I started working at a brand new school this year, and I guess I didn't realize how time consuming it would be getting things ready for the year. My classroom still isn't completely ready, but at least the things that are left are continuing to put things up on the walls. This actually has its benefits because it allows us to create anchor charts together. I also don't hang up any posters until it is something that we have already covered. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be, after all?!

This month we are still trying to catch up on our writing lessons since we got behind due to BOY testing. However, I LOVE this time of year because there are so many options to get students interested in writing pieces with elaborate details due to Halloween. While I try to keep in mind all of the different cultures of my students, I LOVE having my students write a haunted house story each year. After seeing the amazing haunted house writing books available in the Dollar Spot at Target (yay!), I knew I had to keep going with this yearly tradition. Typically, I would have my students create their own haunted house using a template that a previous teammate created. We would spend a day or two cutting out the outline of the house and using colored construction paper and chalk to decorate it. This year, we can focus on the meat of the writing to publish an amazing story about a haunted house.

In years past, I used a modification of an Empowering Writers lesson to have my students focus on critical details to describe a haunted house. They would then use these details to create a haunted house story. I gave the students some freedom in their stories: some wrote funny stories, some wrote scary stories, and some wrote a mix of the two. They were always a lot of fun to read and the students had a lot of fun writing them.

Some of my teammates have done a Halloween piece that focuses more on selling a haunted house and using this as a time to work on persuasive writing. I think that is a great idea as well. I've seen several great products on TPT with this in mind. I'm still trying to come up with what I want my final plan to be this year. Thoughts or ideas?! I'd love to hear about it!