Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working in some of our third grade classrooms as they have been working their way through our information writing unit. We wanted to try some different techniques for students to try out as endings. Yesterday, I shared some of the titles that we used as mentor texts as an It's Monday! What Are You Reading post, but I also taught the lesson with one of the teachers.
We planned the lesson as an inquiry, so we began with a chart that needed filling out. As the students studied the collection of books I had gathered from our library, they began to realize some of the different and creative ways that nonfiction writers sometimes use as endings.
I had way too much to get on to that chart fast! Tomorrow, I will photocopy some of the pages and include those on the chart, as well. The students surpassed my expectations of what they would find! My chart isn't as picture perfect as I would have liked, but charts don't have to be, and the kids loved the quest for different endings!
Nicola Davies used the circular ending in two of the books we studied, one of my favorite ending techniques. I highly recommend checking out her books, Surprising Sharks and Big Blue Whale. These are NOT your typical fact-oriented books and her endings are super fun!
Then came my favorite part of our writing workshop because the students tried out different sorts of endings. One girl wrote about Christmas decorating and began her piece with the bare tree in the hallway, ending with the star on the top. In between, she wrote all about the decorations in her house.
|Finally, I just put my silver star on the top of my tree. I hope you liked my book and one more thing--Merry Christmas!|
|Imagine TH School with no gym, no exercise, and only lazy people. Well, that's what it'll be like with no gym.|
As you can see from the chart and the growing collection of names on the "Who has tried it?" column, many more students experimented with more playful endings, inspired by a collection of mentor texts and my favorites nonfiction inspiration, Georgia Heard's Finding the Heart of Nonfiction.
Happy slicing, writing, and teaching!