How To Writing for ELLs

Our Weather Unit is the perfect opportunity to work on our how to writing {thanks to severe weather safety!}  I have always loved teaching how to writing because it’s such great language practice for ELLs: order words, sequencing, following directions… and bringing in supplies to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at school helps keep my ELL sweeties {and the rest of the class!} engaged too!

To start off our how-to writing, we needed to give our firsties some good practice with instructions before asking them to write how-to’s about weather.  So, we started by talking about order words.  We followed the steps in this free how to draw a shark activity and followed the directions by drawing a shark to match the instructions given.  As we drew, I used order words like first, next, then, last, finally, etc… 

Then, today we were ready to start writing our own how-to writings!  So, I brought in an oldie, but goodie: How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We used our snowman how-to anchor chart to guide our pre-writing.

**disclaimer: you know that time you laminated and it leaked nasty water stains or whatever on your cute poster…yeah…GRRRR!  The struggle is REAL people!*

Ah-hem….Anyways…We did think-pair-share at out table groups to identify the first, next and last step.   After they told me each step, I followed their directions and we drew a picture of that step.  When we finished drawing out our steps, we used the snowman anchor chart to write our how-to paragraphs!

 No special handout for this tried-and-true activity.  Just simply dividing the picture part of their journal into thirds to record a picture of each step.

They did so well doing this together so I can’t wait to see how they do when we write about how to brush our teeth on Thursday!

You can find the How To Writing anchor chart template in my bundle of all writers’ workshop anchor charts!

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