The end of the year is approaching, fast! One of the best ways to keep the end of the year ‘chaos’ from creeping in too soon, is to keep your teaching routines in tact! But, that’s easier said than done. Students get excited for their breaks, and it is harder and harder to keep them focused and working! In these instances, you need summer-themed activities. Summer activities help students channel their excitement into their reading and writing! Today, I have one of my favorites to share with you!
Think, Draw, Write
Think, Draw, Write is a seasonal writing activity for students in grades K-2! The steps that students follow are:
1.) Students choose a prompt from a set of seasonal writing prompt cards.
2.) Students find the coordinating page in their Think, Draw, Write journals and begin by thinking about how to answer their prompt.
3.) Students sketch a picture that answers their prompt.
4.) Students then write about their prompt in complete sentences!
Why Should We Encourage Students to Draw First?
‘Picture writing’ is an important first step in the writing fluency process. For our young writers, being able to draw the picture first allows them time to brainstorm ideas, think of details, and formulate ideas concretely. When we ask students to dive directly into writing, their brains must be able to fluently think about what they want to write, pull letter sounds to mind to be able to spell each word, and easily write each letter. This is an appropriate task for older writers. But, for our primary writers, giving them the chance to write what they want to say first allows them time to think about all of the details they want to work in. It is time well-spent!
Ways to Use Think, Draw, Write
One of the most popular ways to use Think, Draw, Write is as a work on writing activity during the literacy block! It’s a simple enough activity for students to do independently, so it makes for a great learning center!
But, as the year winds down, you may phase out of small group instruction and daily rotations. In that case, another way to use Think, Draw, Write is as a whole group writing activity. It can be used as a whole group journaling activity, or as morning work!
Additionally, if each student has their own Think, Draw, Write journal, they can use these journals during morning work, or early finisher time! You can choose to project one prompt if you want the entire class to write about the same thing. Or, have students choose their own prompts when they have extra time!