Are you looking for a fun way to review every genre of writing at the end of the school year? Writing a magazine is a GREAT way to have students practice everything they have learned in narrative, informative, opinion writing, and more! Students are GUARANTEED to be engaged and have fun. Read on to hear about how I frame this month long project with my 2nd graders, or skip the blog post and grab the fun resource.
To begin, students will need to select a topic. I have them pick a PASSION of theirs – something they love and know a lot about. It is important that it is something that they have a lot of knowledge on, as all of their pieces will revolve around this theme. Some ideas include: animals, games, sports, people, toys, video games, TV shows, books, and more!
After they pick their overall topic, we spend time brainstorming different pieces we can write about the topic. They need to be able to write an informative piece, an opinion piece, a narrative piece, a how-to, a poem and a problem/solution oriented letter in their advice column all about the same topic. If they are struggling to come up with their pieces, they might need to pick a broader topic.
Each week, students will focus on a different genre. They will flesh out their writing following the same process you have used all year. For us, that meant:
- Monday – Brainstorm/Pre-write
- Tuesday – 1/2 Draft
- Wednesday – 1/2 Draft
- Thursday – Revise/Edit
- Friday – Publish & Grade
This can be condensed into 3-4 days per piece, depending on your timeline. The shorter pieces (how to, advice column and poem) can take just 1-2 days to complete.
Working on these pieces should be a relatively independent activity, as you have already covered all of these genres before and students should have ample background knowledge on the topic.
I highly encourage giving students time to publish after each piece is completed rather than all at once. This way, students can really focus on their best handwriting and illustrations.
I let students publish in pen or marker to make this writing piece seem even more special. We talk about how there are no erasers, so 3 strikes and they have to return back to pencil. This really helps students focus on the task at hand and get their work done in the best quality possible.
Since students typically spend a month or longer working on these magazines, I really focus on having an enjoyable way to share their books. We like to invite parents, kindergarten buddies or 5th grade buddies to come see our amazing work when it is finished.
Having this audience to focus on when they are publishing helps students have more of a purpose for writing.
These also make a great portfolio to share with parents at conferences, or to keep for end-of-year assessments.