Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cinnamon Ornaments With A Dash of "How To"

Some holiday crafts just need time to complete, especially drying time. The cinnamon ornament is one of them. On Wednesday, we decided to get a jump start on one of our favorite holiday crafts, the cinnamon ornament, and combine it with Writer's Workshop by revisiting "How to" writing. In making this ornament, students had the opportunity to experience, from ingredients to completed outcome...the step by step, day by day evolution of making this ornament. And what better way to evidence what the children have learned, via nonfiction writing, by having them write a "How To" (functional) writing piece?
As you can see from Chelsea's writing sample, we have a title, "How to make an Ornament." There are clear pictures that demonstrate the task. The pictures are labeled and there are captions under the pictures. Chelsea used transition words "first" and "then". Also, there is a "What you need" section under the writing. It is clear that the labels and captions are a direct link to the nonfiction elements learned from previous week's lessons.
On Friday, the children watched how the ornaments have to be flipped over so that they can dry on the other side. Their creations will soon be wrapped and sent home to be put on their tree.
This is a wonderful way to combine a holiday craft with a workshop lesson. In addition, we were amazed at the writing we received, as a whole. Sometimes you just get the right lesson at the right time for the perfect Writer's Workshop!


dayle timmons said...

I LOVE this post because it demonstrates so well the way that teachers have combined the traditions of the season with the academic needs of our students to make the learning relevent. As happens so ofter, I have stolen your picture to include on the first grade blog. You set the standard for us all!

Suzanne said...

Chelsea did some great work! Tell her I love her writing! And, I can't wait to get the ornament home and on the tree, because I'm know how good the aroma was coming from your classroom. :)