Writing a how-to

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Beth2004, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 12, 2007

    I'm beginning a unit tomorrow on writing a how-to. I teach 5th grade so this is something they've done in the past, but I want to start with the basics. We'll be working on writing a basic "how-to" until Thanksgiving and then after that we'll be incorporating them into personal narratives.

    Anyway, how do you usually begin teaching your students how to write a "how-to?" I would especially love to have any book titles that you use when teaching this unit.
     
  2.  
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 12, 2007

    My sons teacher has them write a very short essay on how to sharpen a pencil. He then follows each essay as he attempts to sharpen a pencil, using the instructions from the essay. He pretends to be an alien as he does so, so that the students had to explict as possible in their essays.

    You can do the same making a PB and J.
     
  4. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2007

    We made Dirt and Worms (crushed oreo, pudding, and gummy worms). We write a how to story with first, then, next, and last whole group. Then, the student wrote how to stories about a food their mom makes (we did this for Mother's Day). It was cute! But this is first grade...
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Nov 12, 2007

    My sons teacher has them write a very short essay on how to sharpen a pencil. He then follows each essay as he attempts to sharpen a pencil, using the instructions from the essay. He pretends to be an alien as he does so, so that the students had to explict as possible in their essays.

    Love this idea, Brendan. Will have to use it in my own class.
     
  6. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2007

    Have them write a how to for making a PB&J. Then follow their directions EXACTLY to make the sandwich for them.(check on PB allergies first). I did this for my third graders and it was hilarious! It also really got them thinking about being detailed and not leaving anything out.
    If they wrote for me to spread the peanut butter but forgot to write that I should get a knife, then I took a glob of peanut butter using my hand(I wore food serving gloves) and spread it on the bread that way. If they forgot to tell me to take the lid off, I picked up the jar and set it on the bread. You get the idea.
    Anyway, it was a lot of fun and they learned a lot. I think your fifth graders would still enjoy this too.
    Have fun!
     
  7. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2007

    I did this with snack foods. I brought in all kinds of snacks. I told the kids it had to have either a fruit or veggie in it, but otherwise it was up to them. They created the snack, then wrote the instructions and had a friend recreate the snack. It was important to get it just so. They also revised them after watching a friend do it. It was fun for them to create and name a snack. When I did this in the inner city, many kids had never had celery sticks before, so it was also a new experience for them.

    I used: celery, carrots, apples slices, raisins, peanut butter, cream cheese, graham crackers, saltines, cubed turkey and cubed cheese. I did it one other time and used marshmallows and chocolate chips, peanut butter, graham crackers, icing, vanilla wafers and things like that. It just depends on what kind of snack you want them to make.

    You can also do this with designs using pattern blocks.
     
  8. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    I did this with putting on panty hose (over pants of course). I picked one boy from each of my classes (I made sure it was someone with a good sense of humor that knew how to have fun with things) and then girls had to tell them what to do. It was a good example of how specific you had to be.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Nov 14, 2007

    I have a few books with 'how to's' in them. I think some of the Gail Gibbons' books have pages with how tos....
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Hannahmorris,
  2. MntnHiker,
  3. ally06
Total: 208 (members: 4, guests: 178, robots: 26)
test