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Launching with Nonfiction? 2nd grade

Reading | Literature 


Full Member
I don't know if you have read Lucy's first new unit in writing or not (her new curricular plan). She has launching with nonfiction writing. In that unit, she doesn't specifiy different kinds of papers for nonfiction writing like we have used in the past.

So... should we use different kinds of writiing papers or just plain lined paper with a picture spot at the top like we use for small moments?

Mz. L.

Full Member
I don't know

what Lucy says. Since we raise caterpillars early in the year, due to our four seasoned weather, I do nonfiction early. When my students write about insects, I give them some choices of lined paper. The choices all have at least a half sheet of plain illustration space. We write books, and each child chooses a vertical or horizontal page to use. Does that help at all?


Full Member
i had

this same questions after reading her new unit!

she makes it seem less formal than an "all about" book. basically, it seems like they just "write what they know." if you know a lot about cat, write what you know about them. if you know a lot about soccer, write about that. she doesn't give much structure other than that...or did i miss something?

it seems like the opposite of how she used to launch with small moments. she would model, "well i like kittens. but i don't have any stories about me with kittens, so that won't do."

i know the common core is pushing more nonfiction but i feel like this will just be a wasted month of writing! at least with small moments, even though it was always a bumpy start, i had lots of craft lessons, not just routines lessons, to teach. i don't know what i would teach in this one. any input?


Full Member

assuming they have had some sort of NF unit in first and K (not at my school though) you refer back to what they already know. I am pretty much following what Lucy's unit says, but have pulled out some NF books from my class last year. It gives the chlildren a good model for what is "really" teaching. I have about 1/3 of my class on board and really into it. They are writing quality books- although what I have out is 5 pages stapled- about 8 lines per page with a blank spot at the top for a picture... plus a cover. Today I taught the lesson on planning what you want to teach. I actually modeled using stickies the other day to plan out my own book about sea turtles. And today I showed them how a student last year planned out the table of contents- these as only suggestions- the main point being- MAKE A PLAN of what you want to teach. End pointless writing... you know?

Some children immediately starting using those ideas. But I have about 1/2 my class being ADHD and I can't even get them to sit down long enough to think, much less put down something on paper.

I have had a few children ask me about the paper in my models from last year... I have a huge box of it, but these children do not know th text featurs of NF and I don't think the point of this unit is to teach it.