I finished Ann Marie Corgill's book Of Primary Importance over Christmas break. I was so inspired by the work that Ann Marie Corgill did in her classroom that I couldn't wait to get back to mine. Her book has an entire chapter on teaching nonfiction writing and I was anxious to launch a nonfiction unit with my class.
After 7 weeks, we have finally wrapped up the unit. Children used many features that we had learned about including text boxes, captions, diagrams, close ups, labels and comparisons in their published posters. I was so amazed by what they were able to accomplish.
Ann Marie's book does not give a step by step outline for how to launch a particular unit, so I was definitely learning as I went. There were many points during the seven week unit that I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" However, in the end I was so amazed by what the children were able to do. I was also amazed at how much I grew as a writing teacher. I almost didn't try this unit because I was afraid that I didn't really understand how it would work. It proves that as teachers sometimes we just need to begin with the end in mind and eventually we will get there......sometimes with amazing results.