Friday, November 15, 2013

Fun Friday… combining fine motor practice and writing workshop...

As we read stories in the classroom, we constantly talk about the different parts that make up a story.  We always identify the setting of the story, or where the story takes place.  We always identify the characters of the story, which can be people or animals.  Today we decided to start with a setting, then add characters, and finish with a story.

First,  each child had to choose the setting for their story.  These were the choices.  One of my teacher friends, Mrs. Knott, found these awesome pictures.  Not only is painting with q-tips fun, but it also helps to strengthen your fine motor skills.  These came from a sight called Therapy Fun Zone.  Click on the pictures to download the templates.

I told them we were going to paint our settings but we were not going to use a paintbrush.  Instead we used q-tips.  They had to dip the q-tip in the paint and then dab each circle.  The challenge was to not use the q-tip as a paintbrush.  They had to dip and dab.  This certainly was tricky, even for the teachers!!  When they were done painting their setting, they needed to create their characters.  They drew each character on a piece of white paper, added detail, and then cut them out to place on their setting.  Last, they wrote their story.  They came out FANTASTIC.. Take a peek-

Heart Maps; a list of ideas that we could write about

We are continuing to grow as authors and illustrators everyday.  This week we were introduced to our Writing Workshop folders, one green and one red.  Our green "GO" folders are for stories that we are currently working on.  Our red "STOP" folders are for finished stories.  Throughout the year, as we learn new strategies, we will be adding different writing tools to our folders to use as helpful hints during writing time.  At the beginning of the week we each made a Heart Map.  We talked about how some authors write about things, people, and times that are important to them.  Authors write from their heart!  Some write about their families or vacations they have had or the time they took their dog on a walk.  We brainstormed some more ideas and then filled our Heart Maps with story ideas that were important to us.  They did an awesome job.  Here are some examples of their awesome work.  They will be able to use this idea bank when they aren't sure what to write about.  Next week, I will be sending a Heart Map home with the children.  I will ask for them to fill the heart with pictures from home of things that are important to them.  This will also be used for an idea bank for when they can't think of something to write about. Here is a link to the FREE templates.  CLICK HERE