Context of writing
A second grade girl wrote this story in response to a teacher asking them to write about an animal that lives in one of the habitats they were studying during science.
What is this child able to do as a writer?
- She has generated an idea to write about — an animal she feels strongly about (‘they are so cool’).
- She sticks to the topic.
- Shows a beginning sense of sequencing in her text. She starts with ‘I like white sharks’ and then adds a few details about sharks and ends with ‘they are so cool.’
- She uses capital letters for the word ‘I’.
What does this child need to learn next?
She may benefit from seeing different ways to organize factual information. The teacher may use a mini-lesson to show different examples of nonfiction animal books. This student, and the rest of her classmates, could look at nonfiction text features and try to use them in their own writing (table of contents, captions with pictures, bold words, close-ups, diagrams with labels, an index). This may motivate her to find more information about white sharks and think about how to organize it in a multi-page format. This would be an effective tie to a nonfiction reading unit.
This student is not using any punctuation in her writing. She may be so excited to get all of her information on the page when she writes that she can’t think about using mechanics at the same time. She should be encouraged to re-read her writing aloud to herself or someone else. She could be taught to listen for natural pauses in her words which would signal the ends of sentences.