Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

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If you give a …

Okay wow.  This week just flew by.  I’ve been trying to get this post done since Sunday and something (or me falling asleep) keeps getting my attention away for this.  Gotta work on that…

So Friday was our only non-testing day of last week.  Finally.  This meant we had our full reading block but I had nothing structured or really set up that we had to do.  So I decided that since my kiddos had worked themselves so hard, I would do a fun project.  I went to my bookshelf to see what might inspire me.  Then I saw them.  My Laura Numeroff books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Pig a Party.  Then I just knew what I wanted to do.  I would read the books to them and then let them write their own stories starting with the phrase, “If you give a ________ a ______, then he/she will want…”  So I went home to think about how we were going to do this.

I thought about making a template for them to follow but I couldn’t seem to figure out how (I’m still figuring out this product making stuff) so I decided we’d just go for it.  So I read the stories to them.  And then we discussed how the story came back to where it started.  So then I told them the big news…They were going to get to write their own in their groups!  They were floored and couldn’t wait!  Yes my students are weird…they love to write.  You can imagine what our 10 minutes of writing workshop is like!  😉  So anyways…

Now I did not just turn them loose.  I gave them an example.  Which is right here (please don’t laugh!):

Remember this is only an example- hence the messing writing.  I kept it short and sweet so that they would get some good writing time in.  My point was how I looped it back to where I started.  So then I set the parameters- no copying the books I read or my story!  I then set them loose as shown here:

I somehow didn’t get pictures of all my groups.  I missed one.  Not sure how…  So they worked!  They were busy the whole time and loved it!  I circled and observed and conferenced where needed.  They really did all the work.  They worked well together which really made me happy.  Whenever there started to be a dispute I just told them that they wouldn’t like what I would suggest if they didn’t come to an agreement.  That’s all I had to say!  By the end of the school day (one or two of the groups needed to finish during reading stations time) all the books were done and they were so happy!

TA-DA!!!!!  So proud of them!!  Their books are now in the Library Station (they begged me to put them there) and they are loving the chance they now have to read those books.  🙂  So I’ve gotta just share one of the books that a group wrote.  Now their connections are not always obvious but what I’m proud of is that it’s their writing.  They did this and they are so proud of themselves.  So enjoy the story:

(If you give a parrot some pumpkin pie)

(Look at those contractions!  Oh and the ellipses!)

(Yes I know the sentence structure is not exactly there…they were just so busy getting the words down!)

The end!!

So there you have it!  It took a lot for me to just let them go and not control every aspect of it.  Then it would not have been as much fun and they probably never would have finished these things.  So I’m super proud of my kiddos and then just proud of myself for just letting them enjoy it.  And believe me…they did!

So how about you?  Have you ever just let something go and let your students just do it?  Please share!  And thanks for stopping by!!

Happy Teaching!

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