Saturday, February 18, 2012

Non Fiction Writing Unit

This is one of my favorite units of study to do with first graders! Their enthusiasm steps up a notch when they are learning about an animal of their choice. And during this time of year... they definitely need a little enthusiasm boost!!! I start off by showing them 4 animals (this year we did alligator, dolphin, shark, and cheetah). Then I give each student their own fact sheets describing the animal's characteristics, habitat, diet, and extra facts. They learn to highlight and take notes. Then they write sentences for each category ("Heading"). Then we go into minilessons that help make their books look like real nonfiction books- creating catchy headings, using bold words,drawing a diagram and labeling it, using photos, writing captions. We also read a ton of nonfiction books that model these minilesons. Here are some photos... I'll post pictures of their books when they return from being "published"!!
Nonfiction Anchor Chart

This is one of my favorite minilessons.  We talk about how to "jazz up" our headings.  We discuss how to make it fun, make it sound like a song (home, home in the sea), and use alliteration (their favorite... such a big word!!)



  1. I'm just about to start this unit with my firsties, too. Cute charts!

    Following you...

  2. I always do nonfiction in April. The kids love it. I like your Jazzing Up Headings chart. I've never thought to teach that. Great idea!