Sunday, 25 November 2012

Santa Puppet and 'How to' Writing

 
We made this simple and very cute Santa puppet yesterday. We used a brown paper bag, our favourite new Micador Mega Markers (they are HUGE and cover a large space in a teeny tiny time frame), cotton wool balls and glue.
 
We folded the two top corners around to the back and secured them with tape
 
 
We drew all of the features, then stuck some cotton wool on to make the beard and moustache.
 
This photo shows the back. Too easy, and too cute!
 
 
I would do this simple activity, and other like it in the classroom, as I love craft activities that children can complete entirely on their own. I also love simple fast ones that look effective on display and also leave enough time to complete a little writing activity with them.
 
We teach 'Procedures' in my state of Australia, as part of our work on 'Text Types'. Our English curriculum is structured around various text types and the students learn to read, write and talk/listen in the various text types. We do a lot of learning on the organisational features and grammatical structures within the various texts. And, we start in Kinder! Many of our kindergarten activities utilise 'proformas' - or worksheets that provide a structure for the students. Of course, we work up towards independent writing, but a proforma is usually how we begin.
 
Shown below,  is the 'procedure' that my daughter and I collaboratively wrote after our craft activity. As I would do within a classroom setting, I preceded this writing activity with a LOT of talk! By talking students through a text type, you are able to explore the features with a speed and ease that would be impossible in the written form. It really is like a first draft. Lots of ideas, hesitations, queries and random offerings! We organise and consolidate our thinking, reflect on our understanding and make new connections.
 
I asked my daughter lots of questions, and framed the discussion to get her to express precisely the steps and logical sequence of the activity.
 
We organise our 'procedures' to include a
Goal (usually the heading How to.....)
Materials (usually a list of equipment in the order of use)
Method (ordered steps taken to achieve the task)
 
In kindergarten, when forst learning procedures, sometimes we leave out the materials, and just structure the text with a goal and method. we also start out by just drawing pictures for each step.
 
 
 
 
This 'proforma' can be found in my Basic Kindergarten Writing Worksheets resources, along with many others. I am also currently preparing more worksheets to update this useful resource and make it even better value. Many of the proformas are very generic so they can be utilised in a range of learning experiences! Click on the image below if you would like to take a look at TpT.