Our kindergarten and very first grades concentrate powerfully on spiders during the Fall months. We have a non-fiction book in our reading program that is all about spiders, so I can see the correlation. Since my kiddos have done way too much work with spiders the past few years, I determined to do something with bats this year. My very first and 2nd graders did a good job!
Note: There some of the following links are Amazon Affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information .
This writing mini-unit took two to three days to accomplish. You can have it as brief or as long as you want, but adjusting how in-depth you go on certain components.
Day 1: Eliciting Information & Gathering Facts
Day one is all about eliciting information from students and gathering facts.
What do students already know?
Very first, we made a map of what we already knew about bats. I wrote down whatever the students told me, whether it was accurate or not. I took all answers that related to bats.
What did we learn?
We then read a book about bats. It was just one I pulled from our school library that had enough information in it without being too technical. There are a ton of excellent bat books out there.
Here are a few suggestions that might work, for read aloud or a more in-depth unit.
While we read the book, we checked off facts that were already on our chart, corrected some misconceptions, and added facts to the lower half. After reading, we added even more facts to the bottom portion to round out our understanding.
That was all in one day.
Day Two: Organizing & Rough Draft
On Day Two, we took the facts from our graphic organizer, organized them into a writing graphic organizer, and began our rough drafts.
Organizing Our Writing
The next day, we created 4-square prewriting organizers. We basically folded a chunk of paper in half, wrote a topic sentence in the final square and wrote facts from our graphic organizer.
I had students list what bats look like, how they hunt / eat, and how they live in three different squares. I helped them out by color coding the circle map (see above). All the green squares were how bats looked and fit into the very first square. The same for the other squares. The color coding truly helped students organize their thoughts.
Embark Our Rough Drafts
Also on the 2nd day, we commenced our rough drafts. I gave students the topic sentence and conclusion. The rest of the sentences they had to create from the bulleted list on their graphic organizer.
Students did an awesome job! I corrected their rough drafts for spelling and grammar mistakes.
I also used this as an chance to embark instructing students how to combine two shorter sentences to make longer sentences. I need to pull that concept out into a formal lesson with the entire group, but this was a good introduction to that process. I can undoubtedly use some of their own writing here to model and practice the concept in the coming weeks.
Day Trio: Final Draft
Students wrote their final draft on paper that was from this Bat Writing Packet on TPT. It was flawless for this application. I stapled each student’s final draft, rough draft, and prewriting together to a black chunk of paper so that I could keep track of the entire process we went through.
Albeit our district doesn’t do nonfiction writing until the next trimester, I find October to be a good, low-key introduction to it with some joy, interesting animals. In the next trimester we go more in depth with Expository / Informational Writing About Animals. I have a series of blog posts about it. This writing about bats sets a good foundation for our future work.
Do you do any work with bats? I’d love to hear about it below.
Are you interested in a FREE resource for your Informational Writing Unit ?
You might also be interested in.
- Beloved October Books for the Primary Classroom
- Halloween Center Activities
- Informational Writing Overview