Friday, December 20, 2013

Writing for a purpose

Since I am in the classroom half-time now (the other half is my beloved Teacher Librarian IBL position), I don't teach ELA directly to my class anymore. I really miss this because it can be so many things! My teaching partner, Candace, recently did what I think is an awesome activity with our kids.
It stemmed from a typical and never-ending classroom problem. PENCILS. Pencils can be one of the biggest headaches in a classroom. They are always missing, dull, broken or something else other than useful. But there is no way around needing them. I have tried cheap pencils, expensive pencils, mechanical pencils, tying pencils to desks and putting flags on the ends. NOTHING WORKS. This year we have had even more trouble because the pencils we bought for our class seem to be particularly frustrating. We could take a new pencil out of the box and sharpen the entire thing without using it. We sharpen it, the led falls out because it is broken inside. We sharpen it again, it breaks again. THE ENTIRE PENCIL. No joke.
Mrs. Henry and our class decided they had had enough. So they did some letter writing. I love this because it was a real-life problem that they wanted to let the company know about. They also need to learn about the writing process and more specifically the letter writing process. Win-win!
As you will see in the photos, this was a multi-step process that ended in them actually mailing the letter to the company. They brainstormed about the message that needed to be sent, putting their ideas into sentences, letter format and addressing an envelope. I can't wait to hear if they reply!


The final letter:

To Whom it May Concern,
We are grade 2 students at Birds Hill School. We are writing to let you know that we do not like the pencils we bought from your company. They do not work well. They always keep breaking, so we can’t do our work. Sometimes we have to throw away the pencils before we even get to use them because we have sharpened it so many times. The lead keeps falling out or they sharpen unevenly. Our pencil sharpener will jam. All of these problems mean that we can’t do our work. Thank you for your time.

Mrs. Henry and Mrs. Dent’s Grade 2 Class

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see students will be apart of the process of the pencil problem. I agree, it is frustrating when the lead is cracked in the pencils. Sometimes this is due to them falling on the ground. I would like to know what the outcome is from the Staples store. Good luck!