Be the Animal


This is a sample lesson on using blogs for publishing student writing in 2nd grade.
UNIT TOPIC: Writing about a real or imaginary trip

From TEKS Grade 2
  1. 4A - Use vocabulary to describe ideas, feelings, and experiences
  2. 14B - Write to discover, develop and refine ideas
  3. 18A - Generate ideas for writing by using prewriting techniques such as drawing or listing
  4. 18E - Use technology for writing: word processing, spell checking, printing
1. Computers
2. Internet access
3. Class Blogmeister Accounts
Some background info: The idea for I wish poems comes from Kenneth Koch's Wishes, Lies, and Dreams.
 Day 1 - MiniLesson: Pre-Writing
  1. Share the following with students:
    In class, you've been working on a story about taking a trip. Today, we're going to play with words to make a poem. Poems can tell a story using word pictures. Here are a few pictures of animals to get you thinking. We're going to make a picture map of different animals. How would it feel to be one of these animals?

    # Run the Powerpoint slide show so they can see some of the animals. As a group, pick one of the animals that is shown. This will be the animal that you use for a collaborative writing workshop.

    # Make a word map as children describe the animal and then how the animal feels.

    For example, for a picture of a golden retriever (first slide):

    Here are some of the things that might come to mind:
4. Share the Being an Animal slide show with students and ask them to make a word map to describe a picture they choose. You might want to print out black-n-whites of the animal slides and let them do the word map next to the picture. You could also brainstorm words that describe, as well as feeling words, and list those on a whiteboard/blackboard so that students have a list to choose from when describing their animal of choice.
5. At the end of class, collect the graphic organizers students have made for next time.
Day 2: Writing the Poem
  1. Ask a student to summarize what the class did before.
  2. Using the word map you created as a class, write a "group poem." Begin each poem like this: I wish I was a [name of animal] and spend the rest of the poem telling why. For example:

    I wish I was a golden retriever so that I could run and play in the grass all day long, \\ I would go and see my friends and sniff noses \\ Let my friends brush my fur \\ Listen to the ants as they played on my paws

    I wish I was a dog because you get to be treated by a king and eat. I wish I was a dog because you get to play a lot. I wish I was a dog because you grow big. I wish I was a dog because I can make smiles with my tongue.

    # Make sure that the poem includes one line from each child in the class. Put that poem where all the children can see it as an example.
  3. Pass out their graphic organizer. Now, you are going to write your own I Wish poem about being an animal. You can't change animals until after you've tried a new one.
  4. At the end of class, sit (or stand if sitting is not possible due to room arrangement) in a great big circle and ask children to read their poems. Some ground rules include:
    -We are going to share our poems with each other. 
    -If you want to say something to the author of the poem, it has to be something nice about what they wrote. 
    -Until it is your turn, please keep your paper face down in front of you, either in your lap or on the floor.
Day 3: Publishing the Poems
  1. Collect all the poems and make a photo-copy of them.
  2. Model how to login to the ClassBlogmeister account and type in the group poem.
  3. Publish the poem and show kids that it is on the Internet. Be sure to tell them that only other classes at the partner campus will be able to see it.
  4. If lab time is available, have students type their poems into their ClassBlogmeister blog. You will want to log students in so that they can get started. If not, divide them up into groups of 5. Ask them to vote on the best poem and make a list of why they think it should be published. Publish the 5 poems by typing them in yourself or getting students to type them in.
Day 4: Commenting on Other Class' Poems
  1. Ask students in pairs to read one other poem written by a class.
  2. Each dyad will make 3 points and include them as a comment to the author of the original poem.
1. Ask students in another class to assess the poems.

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