Stage 1- Desired Results
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
  1. Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts, and writing and speaking about them.
  2. Build a strong base of knowledge through content rich texts.
  3. Obtain, synthesize, and report findings clearly and effectively in response to task and purpose.
  4. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  5. Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence.
  6. Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  7. Come to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading, listening, and collaborations.
  • W.1.5 -With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • W.1.7 -Participate in shared research and writings projects (e.g. explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
  • W.1.8-With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Essential Questions
  • Why do we write?
  • How do writers approach the craft of writing to inform and explain?

  • How do authors select what to write about in their informational writing?
  • How do authors organize information to share?
  • What can I learn from studying other authors?
Big Ideas
Writing to Inform

Enduring Understandings
  • Writers write to inform and explain ideas.
  • There is a craft to writing effectively.

  • Authors generate lists of ideas from their experiences, places, and things that they love.
  • I can study the work of authors to help learn the craft of writing.
Students will know…
  • The purpose of informational writing
  • The characteristics of informational writing
  • How to generate a topic list for how to writing
  • The elements of how to writing
  • How to sequence a how to
  • How to use transition words
  • How to revise for clarify
Students will be skilled at …
  • Writing instructions that illustrate multiple steps in a logical sequence.
  • Rereading and revising for clarity, sequence and missing steps.
  • Sequencing ideas using transition words.
  • Publishing using legible print and appropriate spacing between letters, words and sentences.
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks: Students revise and edit one how to.

Formative: Students include the elements of informational writing in their how to. Conference with students to support their application of the skills and strategies taught in the mini-lessons.

Summative: Students complete editing checklist on their writing. Final piece of writing serves as summative.

Self-Assessment: After celebrating and completing their first writing piece for the year, ask student to identify their strengths and areas of need.
Stage 3- Learning Plan
For Lesson One in this unit, you will need a collection of How-To books, which you can find in your classroom library, school library and public library.

This unit begins with many explicit teacher-directed lessons but is designed to be a gradual release to independent writing by the end. It will begin with time to explore published How-To text, noticing some common conventions of this genre. The class will generate possible topic ideas for How-To text and compose a How-To text together. This is followed by partner work,then gradually releasing to independent writing. Writers will have opportunities to refine their work during revision lessons. While the unit does not have a formal end of unit writing celebration, you may wish to have your students publish their personal How-To pieces and add them to your classroom library.

Many of these minilessons will be followed by short writing tasks for the day. Most conferring time will be spent with the students requiring additional support to grasp the concepts. Some students will likely finish the assigned task quickly and should return to other independent writing projects.

The partner writing found in this unit is a bit different from a traditional writing partner format.In lessons 2-5 the teacher will model a feature of How-To writing. The students will then work on that same feature with a partner. Each student will have his/her own paper; the two will plan together but write individually.

Lesson 1: Looking at How-To Texts
Lesson 2: Creating a Classroom How-To List
Lesson 3: Choosing a Classroom How-To Topic
Lesson 4: Materials List & Drawing Steps for a Classroom How-To
Lesson 5: Writing the Steps for a Classroom How-To
Lesson 6: Checking For Clarity—1
Lesson 7: Checking For Clarity—2
Lesson 8: Using Transition Words
Lesson 9: Choosing A Topic for a Personal How-To
Lesson 10: Materials List & Drawing Steps for a Personal How-To
Lesson 11: Writing the Steps for a Personal How-To
Lesson 12: Fixing Up a Personal How-To

Full Lessons:
To incorporate the Common Core State Standard 1.W.6, to "use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing," you may choose to:
  • Take digital photographs of shared experiences.
  • Create a PowerPoint of writing with voice recordings.
  • Use story-making applications from iPads or other tablets.
  • Type final projects-use WORD publishing forms such as postcards and brochures.
  • Share writing over school announcement system.
  • Have students project the written pieces using a document camera.

How-To Resources from Reading Street:

  • “Growing Plants” Grade 1 Unit 3 pp.114-115
  • Ask Mrs. Greenthumb: A Gardening Magazine for Kids Special Issue: Start Your OwnVegetableGarden Grade 3 Reading ELLReaders
  • Special Days, Special Food Grade 1 On-level Reader 1.4.1, p. 12(recipe)
  • Going on a Dinosaur Dig Grade 1 On-level Reader 1.4.3 p. 7 (numbered steps and text matching the picture)
  • Links in the Food Chain Grade 1 Above-level 1.2.5 pp. 10-11 (numbered steps and clearly written steps)
  • Butterflies Grade 1 Above-level Reader 1.3.5 p. 14 (materials list) The Great Scientist Detectives at Work Grade 1Above-level

How To Paper:

Student Examples: