I spent this afternoon in a 2nd grade classroom and was overjoyed to watch what those students can do! I had been working on reading and dissecting challenging prompts with the older students and I was curious to learn what the younger "little people" might do with the same task.
We gave each student the following prompt: Today you will be reading an article titled "All About Seuss." In the article you will learn many things about Dr. Seuss. Write an essay that explains how he got his name, one of the books he wrote, and how we honor him. Remember to use evidence from the text to support your writing.
Students were asked to read the prompt and locate the format that was required. They quickly understood that format was how we present our information and circled the words "write an essay" in the prompt. Next, we asked the 2nd graders to locate the topic of the prompt. They are well aware that the topic is what their writing will be about. A square was placed around the words "learn many things about Dr. Seuss." Now it was time to find the big ideas. There are three! Students underlined the following three phrases - how he got his name, one of the books he wrote, and how we honor him. Wow! We were ready to create a plan!
It was amazingly easy for these young students to transfer the important information from the prompt to a plan. The practice they have been provided in making plans was very evident. They are now ready to read the article with a clear purpose in mind. Tomorrow's lesson will focus on reading the text and finding details to complete the plan. I can't wait to see what they'll accomplish!