Step 1: Pre-WritePrepare in advance a variety of topics you could write about. Some ideas might include your favorite book, your pet, something you did over the summer, or something you are good at. Share these topics with your students through a think-aloud. Then give students time to turn and talk with their table groups about other topics they might be interested in writing about. Invite the table groups to share. Ask students to select a topic for the activity.
Step 2: DraftAsk each student to write one sentence about their chosen topic. Write yours on chart paper as students write theirs in their writer's notebooks. (It's incredibly important that you write alongside your students.) Provide time for students to share, either in their table groups or whole class.
Step 3: ReviseModel revising your sentence by adding a word to clarify, deleting something unnecessary, or substituting a better word. (I use this add, delete, substitute technique throughout the year, so this is a good time to introduce it.) Allow students time to revise and time to share their revision.
Step 4: EditI teach students to use CUPS to edit - check for Capital letters, Usage, Punctuation, and Spelling. You can find a post on that here. You can also have them simply check for beginning capitalization, ending punctuation, and correct spelling for this first writing activity. Have students check with one other person to make sure there are no errors.
Step 5: PublishAllow students to publish their wonderful sentence. I always gave my students a sentence strip (or two, if needed) for them to write their sentence on. I made them use pencil first, reread to make sure they wrote correctly, and then trace over with marker. Publish your sentence, too.
Finally, I posted the wonderful sentences in a display for others to see. This made a great first week bulletin board and set up the students to use the writing process for the rest of the year.
Is this something you see yourself using in your classroom? Do you have any other ideas for introducing the writing process? I'd love to hear from you!