This past week in Kindergarten I began a new writing theme, persuasive writing. In Kindergarten this is a very fun and engaging theme because children get to write about real things that matter to them. As I began to introduce this new idea with my students I used a phrase from Lucy Calkins Unit of Study Books;“Writers Write To Make The World Better.” This was a great way to begin to explore “how to” write persuasively. Prior to this theme of study we explored how to writing so my students were already familiar with thinking about what features we might need to have when writing a persuasive piece. After we had time to think by ourselves(private reasoning time), then we turned and talked with each other. These 2 steps are important for young writers because they need to be able to have conversations face to face to help them understand their idea and also reflect on what others have to share. Then we were ready to share our ideas in a large group. We came up with 3 important key ideas. One of my students shared that he thought being able to write a persuasive piece was about convincing somebody to do something and like your idea! Yes! This was a great way for us to begin our first attempt to write our own pieces. Many of my students choose to write about real world problems, I was so amazed at what they had to say. Here are some of their ideas; ‘I want people to stop shooting animals”, ‘I want people to stop running away from bad people who want to hurt them”, “I want people to pick up garbage”, “I want people to start caring about the Earth.” Right away I noticed many things, the language that was being used, the sophistication of some of their concerns as well as the empathy everyone had.
After we began to write, many of my students noticed that a lot of our ideas started with 2 words, “I want”. So this became our story starter for our pieces. Twitter is also available for us throughout the day to share with others as well. Just by “tweeting” our ideas we connect and make connections with others. Many of our Kindergarten friends on Twitter are exploring similar themes. This is another rich way we can share and have conversations in a global way in regards to learning. This week to continue our theme I am thinking of inviting my students to convince others about why they would make a great friend. I think this will be a nice way to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King and also a great way for us to experience another way we can have hope and celebrate friendship. Many of my students were very interested in writing pieces about animals and how they need to be saved because they might get extinct! As we shared and explored our thinking and reasoning behind these animals, many of my students wanted actual photographs to see. So we used Google to help us! My students have learned these tips when we use Google to search for information to help us with what we are learning.