When I came into this position I inherited a youth writer’s group, which is a group of 5th and 6th graders (all happen to be girls) who meet once a week to learn about writing and share their stories with others. Now, I love writing (I mean, why else would I have a blog) but I am by no means a professional. Sometimes I feel like these girls could write circles around me! But, I still need to teach the.
A few weeks ago I had them each set their goals for the year of writer’s group. Each girl said she wanted to learn about different writing styles as they all tend to write just realistic fiction stories. The first writing style I decided to introduce to them was Expository writing, or journalism. I wanted them to just learn the facts and write only those. No fancy stories. No imaginative plot lines. Just the facts. I was curious to see how much of their own writing style came through in their articles.
Since we only had an hour and a half I did not make them research a topic and write about it. Instead, I got a few informative picture books about an event in history and had them write a news article as if they were first reporting on that event. This is where my non-teacher skills come in. I know picture books so that is what they used! And they really seemed to like it.
I used Teachers Pay Teachers a lot for these next steps!
I used page three of this free download from Addie Williams to have them write their notes after the read the picture book.
I gave them page two of this free download from Heather Ohl to teach them about the different parts of a newspaper article.
Finally, I gave them this free download from Danielle La Sota so that they could write their article!
For only having an hour and a half and not having any teaching experience myself I would say this was very successful! The girls enjoyed learning something new and they really got to challenge themselves in writing in a new way
Here is one of the articles from our group (click to enlarge):