Where I teach, the students are 4 and 5 years old when they enter kindergarten (most of them 4 years old). There was a wide range of abilities when they entered in September. Some of the students could not print their name, never held a pencil or scissors and had little familiarity with the alphabet. I am continually amazed at how far they have come. For their first story writing experience, I had them follow a patterned story so all the students could experience success. They chose their own setting, ending and different characters that would follow the patterned series of events as outlined in the emergent reader “Gingerbread Man Perseveres”.
Illustrating – Simple How to Draw Resources
Illustrating the story can be challenging for some students. My assistant and I are constantly searching for books and resources that outline simple drawing steps for the students to use. The best sites I have come across are outlined below:
On each page of their story book, the students were to complete the sentence displayed on the left. I tried to reduce the amount of printing; to allow all them to be
successful. They were to use kindergarten spelling (sound out words) and word wall words to complete each sentence. Some of them still need to refer to the “Alphabet Writing Guide” displayed above, to help them recall what letter makes a specific sound. Generally, most of the them do not require this support. Other letter sounds are taught through shared reading and conferencing.
The page above was taken from a story where the setting is “Doggyland”. All her characters are different types of dogs (a dog with colorful ears, little dog and a pink dog). We haven’t completed the stories yet.
In this photograph, the author chose the setting to be a forest.
The story on the right is (plum pudding with purple hair). The author chose her characters to be related strawberry shortcake dolls and the setting is Berryland.
This story on the left takes place in a backyard.
Our Chalk Drawings – Guided Drawing Lesson
Guided drawing lessons are regularly implemented within our plans and the Fairy Tales theme unit offered a great opportunity to for the students to experiment and practice their drawing skills. My teacher assistant took a small group of students and discussed characters and settings found within different fairy tale stories. The students chose one of these to draw. The students drew the picture, added color with chalk and smudged the colors with a keenex. After, we outlined the drawings with a black marker, cut and displayed them on the bulletin board.
Chalk Drawing One
The artist chose to draw a castle as displayed above.
Chalk Drawing Two
The artist on the left chose to draw Repunzal.
Chalk Drawing Three
This artist chose to draw a knight.
I have taught many different grades; kindergarten and grade one are one of the most exciting in terms of witnessing growth. It was only a few months ago when I was working with the students in hearing beginning sounds and now many of them can hear them at the beginning, middle and end of a word and print the letter that represents these sounds. Their printing was initially scribbling and now their thoughts are expressed by using letters. Initially, they did not know the difference between a word and letter but now they can track and read words. This is why I love teaching!!!