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Laptop Work-10.jpgI remember when I decided to become a writer.

I was 7 years old, and decided to write a poem to my mom for Mother’s Day, because I had no money. It worked! She loved it. I decided, based upon the unanimous acclamation of my audience, that I must have some natural talent. 

As an educator, its of upmost importance to express to students that they have some natural talent, a latent ability of creative expression and that their words matter. Some even argue wheter “natural talent” truly exists at all, or whether instead it is the turned head of curiosity coupled with the dedication to practice and explore that produces success. 

Common Core writing standards across grades do not mandate which novels, articles, short stories or non-fiction texts students should read…only that they must read varied and complex (for their level) texts extensively & similarly they should write extensively- with different goals & across genres, to cultivate that curiosity and expression. 

Here are 7 prinatble, step-by-step lesson plans for use in early elementary classrooms. All are research-based, aligned with Common Core writing standards and are easy to adapt. 


 1.  Introduction to Research and Writing for First Grade

In this lesson, students explore Animal Protection. First Grade students are active researchers and writers and  are “doing” not only writing but science as well. 

This lesson plan walks students throught the steps of research and helps them to identify the focus statement, supporting facts, adding evidence and drawing conclusions. The teacher models the steps and students engage not only with the text but with each other also.

The included rubric looks for the following goals to be met: 

  • Learn from a Model
  • Write a Focus Statement
  • Write the First Piece of Evidence
  • Add More Evidence
  • Write a Conclusion
  • Celebrate & Share

2. Sight Word Salad for First Grade:

This lesson teaches students to use sight words correctly and create appropriate sentences. They “make a salad” by selecting sight words written on notecards with salad tongs from a bowl. 

Students then use the words however the teacher would like to extend the lesson- creating a short story alone or with a group, filling-in-the-blanks of an existing story template, or writing a poem. 

PDFs of sight words for both First Grade and Kindergarten are included.  

3. Informative Writing Lessons with Pictures for Second Grade

This is a very detailed and step-by-step lesson plan for second grade informative writing lessons. The activities are designed as a “buffet of ideas” to be chosen and expanded upon or paired down as needed. 

Here is an example of part of the lesson:

Whole Group

  • Teacher introduces conjunctions. Sample Teacher Talk: Today, we are going to learn these conjunctions. What are they called? Let’s read them together… (refer to FANBOYS teacher created anchor paper):








  • Conjunctions help us turn simple sentences into compound sentences. We will focus on three conjunctions: and, or, but. (ALD)
  • Watch video: Schoolhouse Rock’s Conjunction Junction on YouTube (MCC) (or use Flowcabulary’s Conjunctions video. You may use both as appropriate for your students.) Teacher: What are some conjunctions? And – But – Or…
  • Teacher: Conjunctions are useful to turn simple sentences into compound sentences to make our writing more interesting and flow together smoothly. Let’s look at some examples.

Examples of anchor charts, student work, youtube links, and iPad extensions are included. 

4. Hand-Me-Down Tales from Around the World for Second Grade:

In this lesson, “students use the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson to examine a wide variety of folktales and informational books about the world.”

Second Graders read from a variety of texts (many links and examples are provided) to compare and contrast versions of ths same story and then to write about them. Sample activities include prompts like the one below as well as inclusions from other genres and subjects. A literary response is involved in all of the activities. 

“Write an imaginary narrative telling about a time you passed through a mysterious door and ended up in a different country. The country may be from our folktale unit, from a book you have read, or just a place you want to visit. Be sure to say where you find the door, the country where the door leads, and how you arrive back where you began. Include details to describe action, thoughts, and feelings. Be sure to end your story well, thinking about how authors wrap up stories.”

5. Opinion & Narrative Writing about the African American Journey for Second Grade

This is a very important lesson. Second Graders read closely and interact with a variety of texts about the African-American experience, and then write and publish responses.

“By reading the true stories of Henry “Box” Brown, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, the Greensboro Four, and others, students see the links between historical events. Each student writes a narrative “from a box,” (i.e., in the style of Henry’s Freedom Box). They also write an opinion piece that is published either online or otherwise shared.”

Students read narrative & informational texts, poetry & novel segments, and listen to read-alouds and read in groups. The depth of resources and suggestions in this powerful lesson is immense, and the study is centered around thematic questions such as, “What would you do to be free?”. 

Use in February, and circle back to the messages frequently! 

6. Descriptive Writing through a Monster Match Game Video Conference for Third Grade:

This fun lesson includes a video of a teacher in a third grade classroom. The lesson is about how art can deepen the writing experience. 

Support materials are included, and the “Monster Match” game really looks engaging! 

7. Writing about the Bill of Rights for Third Grade:

Now as ever, our students need to understand their power as citizens, as writers, as Americans. Lets dive into the Bill of Rights & empower our students!

This lesson teaches what the Bill of Rights does & doesn’t say, and students work in groups to discuss, illustrate, and write about the rights of American Citizens. 

For example: 

  • Display the sentences from the Illustrating the Bill of Rights worksheet on the interactive whiteboard using the Bill of Rights Sentences presentation.
  • Tell the students that they will be looking for the action that represents the rights of individuals in the United States
  • Using the first amendment description, model the process of finding the key words and circling or highlighting them.

How have you used Common Core writing standards to deepen your writing practice in your classroom? What has worked well for you? 

Next Week: Writing as Revolution: Teaching Writing as Citizenship with Common Core



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