I have a special love for teaching writing! It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s one that I enjoy greatly. And having a balanced literacy classroom makes writing even more enjoyable. Anytime I start a new writing unit, I open it up with a good book. That book then leads to a fun pre-writing activity. And this one is an absolute favorite of mine!
Pre-Writing is a Must!
Even the best published authors have their own form of pre-writing. Pre-writing is a great way to get thoughts and ideas down on paper. For early writers, it doesn’t have to be writing down thoughts. It can be drawing a picture, singing a song or playing a game.
I could give you a huge list of books I like to use for pre-writing, but it would be way too long! But I came across this one and I absolutely loved the creativity of it.
When we meet at the carpet, my students find a box sitting next to my chair. And if you’ve been in a classroom even for just a brief moment, you know what happens next. Hands raise in the air and questions of “Mrs. Jones…what is that box for?” I don’t answer them, but I start reading Not a Box.
I love all the ways a box can turn into something so fun! While I read it, it brings back memories of when I was a kid and turning boxes into fun toys. When I end the story, immediately hands raise in the air. We spend a few minutes listening to the kids share their own story of creating a new item our of a box. It’s such an easy way for them to make those text to self connections! They are doing it without even knowing it.
We spend some time doing ‘think, pair, share’. This is another great pre-writing activity!
As Writer’s Workshop goes on, students work at their desk on pre-writing. They create something new from a box on the handout. I encourage students to really think of something creative and to color it.
Later on in Writer’s Workshop, students will write more details about their new creation. The more details they add to their picture, the better their writing can be!
You can grab this free printable by clicking on the link below! It’s an easy pre-writing activity you can use in your classroom immediately!