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First Grade Writing

Course Description

Writing is a meaning-making process that requires the synthesis of skills to effectively communicate. K-5 students are immersed in daily opportunities to explore, inquire, practice and apply writing strategies and skills in a variety of genres. Cultivating writers who write with the reader in mind is guided by the connection between reading and writing process to convey authentic messages. Self-selected writing topics guided by positive, specific feedback ignite the joy and passion to grow as lifelong communicators.

The first-grade units are written for children who are just tapping into their burgeoning powers as readers as well as writers, and believe they can do anything. Students begin with Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue. In this unit students take the everyday events of their young lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories, then they learn to breathe life into the characters by making them talk, think, and interact. In Unit 2, Nonfiction Chapter Books, students enter the world of informational writing as they combine pictures and charts with domain-specific vocabulary and craft moves to create engaging teaching texts. In Unit 3, Writing Reviews, students create persuasive reviews of all sorts - pizza restaurant reviews, TV show reviews, ice cream flavor reviews, and finally book reviews that hook the reader, clearly express the writer’s opinion, and bolster their argument in convincing ways. In From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction, the final unit of the Grade 1 series, students learn to “show, not tell” and use action, dialogue, and feelings to create a whole series of fiction books modeled after Henry and Mudge.

Grade Level(s): 1st Grade

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  K-5 Missouri Learning Standards & ELA Priority Standards

Essential Questions

  • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
  • What makes an interesting narrative?
  • How do authors begin & end their stories?
  • How do authors convey sequence?
  • How do writers organize their ideas to aid comprehension?
  • Who is the audience and why does it matter?
  • How does an author's choice of voice, tone and mood affect the audience's perception/understanding?
  • Why does one write an argumentative piece?
  • Why is my argumentative writing worth reading?
  • How do my experiences impact my opinions?
  • Where do ideas for writing come from?
  • How do writers organize their ideas?
  • What makes an effective argument?
  • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
  • Why does one write an informational/explanatory text?
  • When does one write an informational/explanatory text?
  • How do writers choose relevant facts?
  • What determines accurate information?
  • How does one know a source is credible?
  • How does one know an author is credible?
  • How does an author's choice of voice and register affect the audience's perception/understanding?

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

  • Writing clearly is essential to effective communication.
  • Details enhance a narrative.
  • Appropriate transitions enhance continuity.
  • Narratives have a variety of organizational structures.
  • Narratives are written in a variety of forms.
  • Audience and purpose influence a writer's choice of organizational pattern, language, and literary techniques.
  • Expressing an opinion is a right that is to be valued and respected.
  • As our experiences change, so can our opinions.
  • Researched evidence supports a strong opinion.
  • Appropriate transitions enhance the continuity of writing.
  • Informational text is characterized by a formal style.
  • Well-chosen facts are specific to the topic, relevant to the audience and logically presented.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

  • Unit 1: Small Moments
  • Unit 2: Nonfiction Chapter Books
  • Unit 3: Writing Reviews
  • Unit 4: Creative Writing

* The above adjustments to scope and sequence are pending Board approval on August 22, 2022.

Course Resources & Materials

Date Last Revised/Approved: 2013