Text Innovations with The Important Book

Sunday, November 27, 2016
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Since the beginning of school, I’ve been trying to get my students to develop their ideas in their writing in an organized manner. We started off looking at paragraph organization using the hamburger writing technique to develop a paragraph with a main idea, 3 juicy details, and a closing sentence, as seen in this post from What the Teacher Wants. They used the graphic organizer below to plan their writing, and then their final products described how they like their hamburgers or a favorite sandwich.


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https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/graphic-organizers/hamburger-writing_WBRDM.pdf
IMG_0537.JPGMore recently, when we were working on main idea and details in reading, one of our teachers, Mrs. McCormack, was using The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown to show how a paragraph often introduces the main idea in the first sentence, develops the main idea with details in the subsequent sentences, and sometimes restates that idea in the closing sentence. For example, “The important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it. It’s like a little shovel… It isn’t flat. It’s hollow… But the important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it.” They then used a text innovation with the story to help students connect main idea and details to their writing, as well. Text innovations take a familiar text to use a framework for a piece of writing, but allow students to write their own ideas with that text’s structure. After reading the book a few times and discussing main idea and details while reading, she modeled writing her own innovation. Then she had students choose a piece of candy, describe the candy using the innovation, and draw an illustration.
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Another teacher, Mrs. Taylor, and I decided to steal use her idea with a little technology twist. Here is how Mrs. Taylor used The Important Book and text innovations with her class: Her students illustrated their writing and used the app ChatterPix Kids to capture their illustrations and record their innovations. Check out an example:
They then put their creations into Seesaw (an AWESOME example of app smashing), and they were wonderful!
IMG_0539.JPGOriginally, I was going to use the candy as the topic of our writings, as well. However, as I was having students practice before going on to the actual assignment, something amazing happened . . . You see, I asked them to choose something that was important to them that they wanted to write about in their writing journals, and their innovations were AMAZING!!!!!!  I conferenced with students in small groups, and we talked about whether their details supported their main ideas. Students edited and revised before writing their final products. Most didn’t have any trouble sticking to the text structure of the original story. And it was wonderful practice with writing organization. Our next step is to take what we’ve learned and apply it to a piece of writing with multiple paragraphs.

For the techie twist part, students illustrated their writing, took pictures of their illustrations, and put them in Seesaw with a recording of them reading their innovations. Here’s an example:

If you've used innovations with technology before, please share your innovative innovation below! 



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