Friday, February 22

How To Writing, Question-Answer Freebie

My fabulous team was discussing how we don't tend to love teaching the How To writing genre at this time because last year the students' writing in last quarter became less detailed after we completed the unit.

The students included the basic steps of how to do something (make a sandwich, build a snowman, get ready for school, etc), but there just wasn't a ton of elaboration or careful word selection any longer.

After we'd spent SO much time teaching and conferring about elaboration and details!

Of course, some writing was more delightful to read than others, but in general, the overall quality of our student's writing went down.

I didn't like dreading a new genre, so I decided to visit the local library to find some better mentor texts. 

So glad I did - I'm now super excited to get started on the genre this year! 

Here are some of the hilarious books (Amazon affiliate links) the children's librarian helped me find!
How to Raise Mom and DadHow to Babysit a GrandpaHow to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy StepsHow to Be a Baby . . . by Me, the Big Sister (How To Series)

With these elaborated and delightful mentor texts, I believe our writing will be a LOT more solid!!!

Plus, read aloud time will be a hoot!

AFTER we're done with How To writing, we're beginning Question Answer I whipped up this little freebie.

Students will make inferences in order to match the question card with its answer and then record the matching pair on the recording page.

The cover graphic is for St. Patrick's Day, but you can really use this center at any time of year since the cards and recording page graphics are more neutral.



  1. Those books look so fun! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for the freebie too! That will work nicely in our morning work!

  2. I have got to fly to your hometown and collaborate with you on writing.... we don't do any of this genre stuff at my school in first grade. I need you you "school" me!

  3. The books look interesting! My daughter needs the How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps!!!!!!

    Live Love Laugh and Teach!

  4. Thanks so much for the new ideas on books for how to writing. Actually went to Barnes and Noble tonight and found two out four. Have a great weekend!

  5. Thanks Lisa! I'm so excited about winning the letter writing unit; we're starting that in two weeks!!

    Also, I am totally with you on the How-To thing. Our district had us start the year with informational writing....nice, right? Thank you for sharing those fun looking books. I'm headed to Amazon right now!

    Primarily Speaking

  6. I have to get my hand on How To Raise Mom & Dad! I have the Grandpa one.
    MY Heart Belongs in First

  7. Lisa,
    Let me know if you need any donations for your 500 follower giveaway. :)
    ♥Teaching Fabulous Firsties!♥

  8. Thanks so much for the freebie "Q and A' Match Up". Also a special thinks for the packet I won... it's AMAZING and I am so appreciative.

    Granny Goes to School

  9. I agree, teaching How To writing is a toughie! I like bringing in examples of authentic "how to" texts, such as recipes in cookbooks. :) Congratulations on reaching 500, what an accomplishment!

    And I don't know why I just realized this, but I'm originally from Wisconsin too! It always makes me happy when I see someone else from Wisconsin. :) I miss it tons!

    Fun in PreK-1

  10. I read How to Babysit a Grandpa right before our school's Grandparents' Day. The students wrote their own directions and the grandparents loved it! We also made a list of what everyone called their grandparents - it was interesting to see all of the different names!

  11. Love your posts, as always! I completely agree about How To writing. I've had the same experience! Thanks so much for sharing these books! They look really fun I've got a Barnes & Noble gift card burning a hole in my pocket!

    Thanks for sharing this cute activity! We've been reviewing writing dialogue and I'll use these at a station and have my kiddos write answers with quotations in them!

    Congrats on coming up to 500 followers! Let me know if you need help celebrating! I'd be happy to donate something!


  12. Thank you for the How To book ideas! One of the How To books I like to use with my students during our How To unit is Walk On! by Marla Frazee. :) Happy writing!


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