Teaching your students how to form instructions, directions, or even a story can often be difficult. It not only requires that your students think through whole processes while writing them down, but it requires that they use a level of imagination to think up scenarios that aren't immediately in front of them.
That's where Tess Builds a Snowman from our Learn to Write Series comes in. Tess Builds a Snowman is a sweet, simple story about a girl determined to make a snowman and also get her homework done. This charming book teaches young readers how write directions in a fun, engaging way that's perfect for those snowy winter months.
Here are some great ways you can use Tess Builds a Snowman as an introduction to directional writing:
1. Read Aloud to Keep You Warm and Toasty
Tess Builds a Snowman is winter-themed picture book that's perfect for reading aloud to the class. When starting your directional writing curriculum, use this book for story time first. Afterwards, ask your students how Tess would have them build a snowman. Highlight how the book explains the process step-by-step.
2. Model and Share Your Own Story
Students need to see real examples of what we expect. Invite students to join you on the carpet with clipboards, paper, and pencils. Think aloud as you write your own “how to” story, connecting the steps back to Tess Builds a Snowman. Explain your choice of vocabulary and punctuation and how to use them effectively. Point out examples of different books around the classroom to emphasize that no two authors write about the exact same thing and that’s what makes each book unique!
3. Have Your Students Make Their Own Direction Books
Kids at this age may lack technical writing skills, but I bet they have a wild imagination and plenty to say! So why not turn their writing into books? Have a class discussion about whether students have ever built/made something of their own. Use Tess Builds a Snowman as a story pattern and have children write their own direction books. For example, Everett Builds a Snow Fort.
To make an instant, easy craft, glue their drawings and writing onto bright pieces of construction paper, decorate with extra borders and stickers and make a cover out of card stock. Punch holes in the pages and bind the book together with yarn or ribbon to hold the young author and illustrator’s finished story.
4. Finish Off With More Writing Practice
Need more ideas? Our January blog, Winter Writing Activities to Warm Up Your Students' Literacy, offers more wintery writing activities that are sure to engage your students and drive home the concept of directional writing!
5. Use This Free Download to Aid Your Lesson