Teaching writing in kindergarten can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. In fact, this is the biggest struggle for many teachers in my private Facebook group. While we are talking about this struggle, let’s be honest: not all kids love to write. In like manner, children can struggle too! This is exactly why I have created the Kindergarten Writing Bundle! This easy to use curriculum has EVERYTHING you need to make writing successful in your classroom or homeschool! Simply put, my desire is for kids to learn to LOVE writing because they feel successful at it!
Fortunately, I think this curriculum hits the spot! I am SO excited to share this Kindergarten Writing Curriculum with you!
Kindergarten Writing Curriculum Scope:
There are a total of 7 units included in this comprehensive writing curriculum:
- Unit 1: Personal Narrative: Sharing My Story
- Unit 2: Non-Realistic Fiction: Using our Imagination
- Unit 3: Writing to Teach and Inform: How-to-Books
- Unit 4: Poetry: Exploring Poetry
- Unit 5: Realistic-Fiction: Writing Interesting Stories
- Unit 6: Opinion and Persuasive Writing: Changing the World
- Unit 7: Non-Fiction Chapter Books: Creating a Chapter Book
Let’s take a look at Unit 1 in the Kindergarten Writing Curriculum!
Teaching writing in Kindergarten can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences! They change and grow so much, even in the first weeks of school! Before you know it, you will see your students begin to blossom and grow as writers!
This Kindergarten Writing Curriculum uses a Writers Workshop type model. This means that there will be a mini-lesson, status updates (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, or publishing), writing, and sharing! Don’t worry… I have you covered on how to effectively implement this curriculum in your classroom!
So when do you start teaching writing in Kindergarten? Good question! Right away! You can get this curriculum up and running during the first or second week of school! Luckily, you don’t need to wait until students know a certain number or sight words or letters. During Unit 1, we are not expecting them to write sentences….yet! Instead, in Unit 1 we will help students understand that their drawings/illustrations tell a story. Consider all of the wordless picture books you have “read.” You can certainly understand the storyline in those books. Allowing students to draw pictures and orally tell their story will show them that they too are authors!
What is Included In Unit 1: Personal Narrative?
- 22 Detailed Lesson Plans
- Suggested Schedule for (60, 45, and 30 minute blocks)
- Tips for Getting Started
- Curriculum Scope and Unit Scopes
- Developmental Writing Stages Chart
- Mentor Text Guides
- Conferencing Guides, Planners, and Trackers
- Assessments Guides
- Writing Templates
- Publishing Party Guide and Templates
- Writing Posters
- Personal Word Wall
- Writer’s Checklist
- Personal Narrative Writing Idea Charts
- The Writing Process Poster
- Young Author Award Certificate
Let’s start with the Lesson Plans!
These easy-to-follow lesson plans set you up for success. They are broken up into 6 simple parts:
Focus- The skill, strategy, or idea students will be focusing on this lesson.
Warm Up- A quick activity that has students review and practice previous skills.
Mini Lesson- Teach, model, and discuss the new skill in today’s lesson.
Practice-The hands-on portion of the lesson where students apply what they have learned in the mini lesson to their own writing. During this time you will conference individually with students.
Mid-Practice Teaching Point-A quick reminder and chance to highlight the great work students are doing.
Share- Lesson wrap up where students analyze, reflect on, and share their work.
I have also laid out what a lesson might look like with a 60 minute, 45 minute, and 30 minute time block. We all have different schedules, and this writing curriculum is designed to meet your needs! Do what works best for YOU!
Also included are some tips for getting started! With this cohesive curriculum, I have set you up for success! All the work has been done for you. Just print out your materials and open up your lesson plans! Of course you will want to monitor students progress, and change your plans appropriately.
Here are a few things that will help you, your students, and your classroom be ready to implement a Writers Workshop model.
Things to keep on-hand:
Teacher Materials- You will need a teacher copy of each template for modeling. You may find it helpful to use a document camera or recreate the templates on chart paper so students can easily see them. Many teachers find that putting their example away at the start of work time reduces the likelihood of students copying your work.
Writing Process Poster- This poster helps students learn the steps of the writing process and track what the class is currently working on.
Use Velcro, tape, or a clothes pin to attach the marker to the laminated poster so it can easily be moved.
Word Wall- A wall and/or personal list that students use to help them spell sight words.
Alphabet Chart- A wall chart and/or personal list that students use to help them identify and shape letters. As students start learning digraphs and other special sound combinations it can be helpful to add these.
Writing Materials- Providing students with extra pencils or creating an independent system for them to get a new pencil when necessary will reduce interruptions.
Writing Folder- During the writing process students will have several drafts and templates. A dedicated writing folder can be helpful for organizing these materials. I’ve included a cover that you can personalize to add to the front of each writing folder.
Kindergarten Personal Narrative: Unit 1 Scope:
22 detailed lesson plans that will walk you through how to teach a personal narrative! By the end of the unit, your students will have written 3 personal narratives, and will be ready to move onto Unit 2!
In order to make your writing block effective, be sure to implement procedures and plan out your routines and expectations. Get your materials set up and provide students with a writing folder. Be sure to model, model, model!
Each child will get his/her own writing folder. This folder will be the place where they keep all of their writing templates, charts, and materials.
Inside of each folder, you can include the Alphabet Sound Chart, the Letter Chart, Letter Formation Chart and any other resources about the unit.
Included in the files are pencil labels…
Mentor texts are an important component to each unit in the Writing Curriculum. What are Mentor Texts? Mentor text(s) are 1-2 example texts that illustrate the writing style we are focusing on for the unit.
For the Kindergarten Personal Narrative, here are some examples of mentor texts you can use:
- “Fireflies” by Julie Brinckloe
- “Kitchen Dance” by MaurieJ. Manning
- “Shortcut” by Donald Crews
- “Hello Ocean” by Pam Munoz and Mark Astrella
- “New Shoes” by Chris Raschka
- “The Leaving Morning” by Angela Johnson
In Lesson 1, we introduce mentor texts. Discussion- Who is the main character? What happened to them first? Then what happened? What happened at the end? What makes this story interesting to read? Would this story be as interesting without the pictures? Why?
The mentor texts will be part of your Writers Library.
A Writers Library is a larger collection of on-topic texts that students can read and reference throughout the unit. Consider keeping these books in a special location where students can access them throughout the unit.
“Ralph Tells a Story” by Abby Hanlon is a great way to introduce students to the idea of being a writer. This is a story about a boy named Ralph who thinks he can’t write a story. Consider using it in Lesson 2 to help students start brainstorming ideas of things they can write about.
During Lesson 2, students will start planning their narratives. They will complete fill in their own heart with things they like to do, places they like to go, and people they like to spend time with! Students will use these hearts to help plan their writing.
Students will be reminded that they are focusing on a “small moment.” Maybe they went camping, but we don’t want them to tell about their entire camping experience. Rather, we want them to focus on a “small moment.” Maybe they tell about the fish they caught in the stream.
Posters help students understand what a personal narrative is and that their narratives will have a beginning, middle, and end.
Students learn that personal narratives include words like I, me, my and mine.
Their personal narrative will include detailed pictures.
Students will also have access to Personal Narrative Writing Idea posters, if you choose to use them.
A Writer’s Checklist can be used during small groups to help students edit their writing once they get to that stage.
The Writing Process poster will help keep students on track as you move from lesson to lesson. This will highlight where they are in the writing process and what is coming next.
The unit includes templates to get students started by mapping out their personal narrative with pictures.
Choose the template of your choice from the Level A Writing Templates.
Developmental Stages of Writing appropriate for Kindergarten:
While all students develop differently, most student writing progresses along these developmental writing stages. Therefore, use this chart to determine a student’s current writing level and identify next steps and goals. Keep in mind, it is normal for students to progress through some stages quickly and linger at others.
- Pre-Writing Stage:
- Random Scribbling
- Linear Scribbling. Scribbling moves from left to right
- Letter-like Symbols
- Random Letters. Letters do not correspond to sounds.
- Beginning Writing Stage:
- Letter Strings- child can “read” writing.
- Letter Groups
- Labeling Pictures
- Copying Print (Writer can’t read their writing.
- Sound Writing:
- Beginning Sounds
- Beginning and Ending Sounds
- Medial Sounds
- Fluent Writing
- Phrase Writing
- Mixed Sound and Recall Spelling
- Sentence Writing
- All Syllables are Represented
- Paragraph Writing
Conference is the heart of Writer’s Workshop! This is where you will work with your small groups and get a good feel of where they are in their writing. Certainly keep in mind that you’re conferring with them. It’s an opportunity to provide individualized instruction, assess students writing, reinforce skills taught during the mini-lessons.
When you confer with your students, you can identify their strengths and notice what they are doing well. Specifically, these moments are great opportunities to celebrate those moments and help build self-confidence. As a result, students’ writing stamina grows as students learn what they are doing correctly.
Conferencing also gives the chance for students to think about where they can improve their writing. Certainly you can easily make this your teaching point. You may want to pose questions during this time. For example, what else do good writers do? Suggestions could include adding more details. Or they might need to make sure their writing has a beginning, middle and end. Perhaps the student is working on labeling. Whatever the case, conferencing time is a time to set goals for something they can work on to improve their writing so they can become even better writers.
In light of the vigorous process, I have included Wordless Picture Books to help make this process more effective! Use the Wordless Picture Books to address specific writing goals with students. Some may be working on labeling. Some might work on detailed pictures. By the end of the year, you will see students progress in the Developmental Stages of Writing and move onto write sentences and even paragraphs.
Laminate the Wordless Picture Books and use them model what good writing looks like while meeting with your small groups.
There are blank lines to write a beginning,
and end to your story.
As students progress through their personal narratives, they will continue to grow as writers. Therefore, it is an exciting process to watch! In the example below, students can use the circles at the bottom of the page to show green for beginning, yellow for middle, and red for the end. Alternatively you can have students number their pages 1, 2, and 3.
Remember, some students will just draw pictures, some might label their pictures, and some will attempt to “write” words or sentences. First and foremost, let the creativity flow. Consequently, you will be able to watch your writers blossom and fall in LOVE with writing!
Celebrate your students successes as you continue to build writing stamina!
Rubrics provide a structured way to measure student writing ability. Use these rubrics to grade pre-unit on demands, post-unit on demands, and final writing pieces as needed. Most teachers find that grading all three writing pieces is not necessary.
Conveniently, there are several options of rubrics provided so you can select the rubric(s) that best fits your needs.
Now it’s time for students to share their writing in Lesson 22! This is such an important component to Writer’s Workshop, especially in Kindergarten! Finally, it’s time to have a Publishing Party! Students have worked hard to complete 3 personal narratives! It’s time to celebrate their accomplishments!
Publishing parties look different in each room. The main thing is that each student gets a chance to share their work! For a small class you could have students share one at a time. On the other hand, for a larger class you could have students share in small groups or sit at their desks while guests rotate around and see all of the books.
Mark your publishing party on your class calendar at the beginning of the unit to help your students get excited. Additionally, during revision and publishing days remind your students that they are authors and an audience is coming to hear their stories!
The main goal of a publishing party is for students to celebrate and share their accomplishments as a writer. A variety of party supplies and props are provided including crowns, compliment pages, signs, party invitations, an “I’m an Author” banner and name tags. Use these to make your party something your students and families look forward to each unit. Let’s get this party started!
For your convenience, you can use the included invitations to invite family, friends, or another class to come hear your student’s stories.
I hope this post was helpful to you as you set out to implement kindergarten writing workshop this year!
Be sure to join my private Facebook group with other likeminded educators and homeschool families that are using Moffatt Girl Curriculum!