2nd graders learning to write reviews

Watched two 2nd grade teachers (my dear colleagues) hard at work today modeling for students – writing restaurant reviews (Common Core, Writing Standard 1 on opinion writing).  They are in week three of a writing workshop focus on review writing. The first week they wrote book reviews and the second week they wrote movie reviews. Their weekly instruction has a routine –

  • They engage in shared writing on Monday
  • And then on the following 2-3 days, students engage in writing their own reviews after a mini-lesson reviewing review writing or certain aspects of writing in this genre. I’ve encouraged the teachers to start the these days by sharing examples of the reviews their own students have written in previous days as models as well as any other models they have found – highlighting what works in these reviews.

The culminating publication is a class magazine of reviews – each student picks one to revise, edit and publish.

To launch the week of writing restaurant reviews, this 2nd grade teacher shared pictures of the restaurant with a line of people waiting around the corner and of the restaurant’s food to engage students in thinking about why they love particular restaurants.

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Then she shared a review of the restaurant as a model for the students and engaged them in shared reading (she read aloud and they followed along). They discussed the structure of the review and identified vivid details. She followed by beginning a shared review writing experience about McDonald’s – listing why the students like this restaurant (on the Smartboard). Then they wrote a review of McDonald’s together.

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Below – the other 2nd grade teacher engages her students in shared writing of a review. All of the students agreed to review the restaurant Red Lobster. She focused on helping students clap the syllables of multi-syllable words and then think through how to spell one chunk at a time. For example, the students clapped “lob” and “ster” and then she called on one student to spell the first chunk “lob.” They clapped both chunks again and identified the second chunk “ster” and so forth.

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Kudos to those of you modeling, modeling, modeling – with authentic mentor texts and in pursuit of authentic writing opportunities!

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