After an introduction to the final product, the flip book, each child chooses colored construction paper and constructs a book according to the directions. Char models how to write a draft from the note cards, how to make a sentence from the notes, and how to put all cards of one color together to make a paragraph. Each child writes and edits their sentences, and draws a picture of the animal for the front cover.
While Char can readily relate parts of the project to specific standards, she cautions that the discreet format of standards may not present a clear picture of all that is going on. Here is her description of the writing in the project.
First-grade writing combines the important skills of idea formation and documentation, penmanship, and spelling. It would be inappropriate for me to list the spelling standards as part of the project's learning goals, but I am expecting students to use and apply what they have learned about spelling and to use the project to further their skills, so in a sense, spelling standards could be considered part of the project goals, because they are integrated and evaluated in this project.
Students in the first grade are introduced to writing as a means of communicating. They begin to understand that writing is a process and learn to apply the process appropriately to write brief narratives and brief descriptions of objects, persons, places, or events. As students learn to apply process writing to narrative and descriptive structures, they also learn the different types of sentences along with the conventions for recording their ideas (e.g., capitalization, punctuation). They learn to apply writing conventions, with particular emphasis being placed on the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. In my organization of this project I use some general guidelines for writing instruction:
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