How to writing is some of the most fun and most often skipped writing for elementary students. However, procedural writing is a vital skill that cannot be skipped. One fun way to incorporate this type of writing in the cold winter months is having students write about How to Build a Snowman or How to Catch a Snowman (which we will use interchangeably in this post).
Hook your kiddos by reading aloud some fun snowmen read alouds. My absolute FAVORITE series for procedural writing includes How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace.
Some other GREAT snowmen read alouds are:
- Hook & Plan (Monday) I love to give my students ample time to talk about their plan to a partner before jotting it down on paper. The plan is a BRIEF bulleted list of ideas on how they will either catch or build their snowmen. Remember, for emergent or younger writers, teacher modeling is KEY here!
- Draft (Tuesday & Wednesday) We spend TWO days perfecting our drafts, however, if you don’t have that time, one will be just fine. When doing procedural writing, I remind students that thoughts should be clear, brief and to the point. We work on getting rid of “fluff” words so that we are writing a recipe that someone can easily follow.
- Revise/Edit (Thursday) We use both an editing checklist and a revising resource to help guide us through both editing and revising our own work, as well as a buddy’s work. We spend a LOT of time modeling this at the beginning of the year, so that students are well versed in what to do when this time arrives each week. [5 minutes editing our own work, 5 minutes revising our own work, 5 minutes editing a partners work, 5 minutes revising partners work]
- Publish, Share, Grade (Friday) Fridays are the BEST because students can CRAFT, publish, SHARE, then self grade their work. After students self-grade, O make a conscious effort to GRADE THEIR WORK as they are turning it in. This saves me time on the weekend for ME. I love to hang these projects in the hallway as a great winter bulletin board.
Whether you teach kindergarten or fifth grade, this activity can be differentiated to meet your needs. For kindergartners or emergent writers, scaffolds such as sentence stems or model sentences can really help them develop their own thoughts.
For older students, work on removing scaffolds, adding specific descriptive language and have them practice following their own procedure in real life, without missing any steps. Test their knowledge and see how they do!
LET’S GET DIGITAL
Teaching digitally? No problem! Students can follow the same process using this fun digital version of building a snowman.
This can work for in person teachers as well, either as a fun writing project for the week or as a small group/center to either enrich or remediate with struggling students.
Grab What You Need
Love what you saw above? Grab these fun, snowy resources below!
Please drop any questions or comments you might have in the comments below. Happy teaching, Mountaineers!
Affiliate links included.