Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Up Next In The 4th Grade....Smore Expository Writing Project!

One thing about snow days and schedules that get thrown off, it gives me time to collaborate a little bit more with the teachers.  When we have late starts, our related arts times are shortened to allow for the literacy block to be pushed into the afternoon.  

During these shortened times, I see the students in the library to check out book and do a short activity together.  Then I head to the classrooms to try to catch a little time with the teachers.  

This week on our late start I found Staci Braun, one of our 4th grade teachers, in her room and we collaborated on the project we will start together after spring break next week.  

She has been working with her students on creating an expository writing about a place they are interested in learning more about.  Within the Common Core Writing Standards for 4th grade, it states, "Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey idea and information clearly."  
The students first wrote a draft according to the points that Staci laid out for them.  The students are to introduce the topic and then group information that is related, according to the Common Core.
 They then took the draft and transfered it into a template that Staci gave them.  
This Common Core Writing Sample also states, "Include formatting (e.g. headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension".  So as Staci and I spoke about the next step, we looked closely at this and several different Web 2.0 tools.  We need one to support Staci's goals with the writing project and also one that would support this Common Core Standard.
We decided to go with Smore, a Web 2.0 tool that creates online newsletters.

The students would be able to add the elements we were focusing on such as formatting, illustrations, and multimedia to assist in the comprehension of the topic.
I created this Smore Storyboard with the elements we would like for the students to include.  They can choose others if they would like and change the arrangement as well.   As long as they stick to the requirements of including an introduction, three headings, three paragraphs, a conclusion, at least 3 pictures, and one video to support the theme.

I will create an example before we introduce this to the 4th graders so they have one to refer to as well.

We are really excited to tell them about the Smore Expository Writing Project.

And we can't wait to see what they create.


  1. Great idea, I"m going to share this with my intermediate teachers. So ready to move them away from Word.

    1. Hi Miss Okle,

      Thank you....It is going to be really fun to see what they create. :)


  2. I want to see the example too! ;-)