Interactive writing is an amazing way to get your students involved in the writing process at the beginning of the school year. Allowing your students to “share the pen” with you has so many benefits. You can model the writing process and still allow the students to be active participants.
This is one of my favorite activities to do during the first couple weeks of school. I start out by reading the book, The Book with No Pictures. This is the BEST. BOOK. EVER! Ok, I may say that about a lot of books, but this one is seriously amazing! It’s such a simple concept, but it’s genius. The kids LOVE it!
After reading the book to the students, we decide together that we want to try and “trick” our principal into reading it aloud to us. We work together to write her a letter on chart paper.
MODEL THE THINKING PROCESS.
I model how I would think about what I want to write. We brainstorm ideas together as we come up with what we want to include in our letter.
MODEL THE PARTS OF A LETTER.
I already write a letter to my students each morning for our morning message, so this is something they see each day. However, this is a great time to review that we need the date, a greeting, body, closing, and our signatures.
MODEL HANDWRITING, STRETCHING THROUGH WORDS, CAPITALS, ENDING MARKS, ETC.
The actual writing of the letter is the perfect way to review so many skills. As I call on students to write different parts of the letter, we discuss when to use capitals and ending marks, correct letter formation, stretching out the sounds of words, and on and on.
When our letter is finished, I have each of the students sign their names. Then, we deliver the letter to the principal. I have been SO fortunate to work under principals that have been more than happy to participate. The students could barely contain their excitement waiting for her to come and read the book to them. The smiles and giggles were priceless!
Last year, my students talked about this so many times throughout the year, and I know this year will be no different. The loved it!