The thought of teaching writing to emerging readers can be daunting for
new any teacher. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to teach Kindergarten and first grade students to be independent with anything! So the task of teaching 20 (+) five and six year-olds to write their thoughts and ideas onto paper all at the same time every day can be overwhelming! This post is going to share November writing mini-lessons for kindergarten and first grade. But before we get to that, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of teaching writing!
The Primary Writer
There are two ways to ensure that you, the teacher, remain prepared and inspired in your teaching of writing. The first is to know your learner and how they develop. The second is to have a bank of lessons which allow you to teach with confidence rather than spending hours searching for your next great mini-lesson idea.
Let’s get into what the research says about our little learners!
The Four Stages of Teaching Writing to Children
Research explains that writing happens over a series of scaffolded stages. We all understand the train and release, train and release, method of teaching. Writing is no different! Here are the four stages of writing from most supported to least supported.
- Modeled Writing Lessons
- Shared Writing Lessons
- Guided Writing
- Independent Writing
Who: Teacher is in front of the class doing all of the writing.
What: Think out loud about ideas and how to write them down. Talk like a problem solver and “show” how you work through a writing idea/challenge.
Who: Teacher is in front of the class inviting students to share the writing with her. Teacher can be the scribe or teacher and students can share the responsibility of writing.
What: Teacher and students compose a piece of writing together from oral brainstorming to written work. Continue thinking aloud and incorporate more discussion between teacher and students.
Who: Students writing while teacher provides small group or one-on-one support and feedback.
What: Teacher provides support as students write on their own. Support is given through discussion, redirection, feedback, and expanding on student ideas.
Who: Students use shared ideas or modeled lessons to produce a personal piece of writing.
What: Through the use of charts, word walls, and previously taught skills, students are able to work independently. *Although independent, it is important for students to have an avenue for sharing their writing during a scheduled time with the teacher or in an author’s share.
November Writing Mini-Lessons
Now to the second part of teaching writing. Knowing what to teach and when to teach it! It’s so helpful to know HOW to teach writing, but at some point in the school year, the lesson plan writing ideas just don’t flow and it takes time to search out and cover the standards to their fullest. Let’s also mention that it helps a LOT to motivate reluctant writers when there is some element of FUN involved!
After one of my writing presentations this summer at a conference, a teacher asked me if I had ever created a ready to teach resource of all the mini-lessons I was sharing out in the session. I knew that I had shared some of my favorite mini-lessons out on the blog here and there, but never sat down to truly write the cohesive month by month resource!
If you read my post in September, I shared that I am now doing just that. I am sharing 9-10 standards based mini-lessons for each month. Many of them can be taught numerous times with new topics and others are more seasonal to sprinkle in when your writers need that exciting inspiration to revive their writing efforts!
The November Writing Mini-Lessons are all about how writers use voice! Here are the mini-lesson titles and the standards covered this month. (standards from the Kindergarten set) I have both first grade and kindergarten sets.
Most of the lessons can be used any month of the year and any day of the month, but there are a few that are great seasonal fun. I love doing the mainstream mini-lessons Monday through Wednesday and then hitting students with an extra special seasonal mini-lesson on a Thursday and Friday. I am sharing three examples of this month’s mini-lessons. Some of them are the kindergarten level and others are the first grade level. Both levels have a variety of paper, lines, and sizes so you can help every level of writer!
This example is all about incorporating the strategies to use voice in a fun space story! For kindergarten, we keep it simple with an option shown here where students have a sentence stem or dictation to help support their efforts. The kindergarten and first grade versions also have other paper to use with this lesson, using more lines and less support, for our writers that are ready! When possible, I share student samples of the final products.
Example shows one type of kindergarten writing paper but there are many options for this lesson when it comes to the writing lines.
November has important seasonal significance too! Using social studies and science to help motivate students to write is always a win!
Each mini-lesson follows a format that helps foster independence.
Here’s a little preview of all 9 mini-lessons support pages!
November Writing Mini-Lessons
The following links will take you to the tpt to purchase the units. There is also a growing bundle for the year listed below.