Week 1 Writing

Now that we've got the first week of school behind us, we're starting to get some serious learning in! I still have another week until I start my small groups and guided reading so we have a lot of time to teach explicit expectations!

This week in writing is one of my very favorite! On the first day of school I always have my students draw a self portrait...just to see where we are! I got a lot of illustrations like this (I love these...adorable!!) This shows me exactly where my students are developmentally and where I need to go with them. I. adore. this. stage!
This week in writing we are doing a LOT of guided writing! I'm teaching clear expectations about what I want from my students in their writing...with LOTS of modeling! Click HERE to get the printable plan for writing this week.
This morning we talked about nouns {read this post about how I teach nouns and snag up the interactive freebie page}and explicitly about people that are nouns. We brainstormed ideas and added our ideas to our anchor chart.
After talking about people, I reminded them how we drew a picture of ourselves last week. I told them that they all did a fabulous job, but we are going to learn to be great writers this year and great writers need great illustrations! So we all got our pencils, a piece of paper, and clip boards and moved down to the carpet. I like my students to all be sitting on the carpet when we do guided writing so I can see exactly what we're all doing and help where I need to.

I found this step by step guide a few years ago and have been using it since! I draw mine under the document camera while my students follow along. I made this anchor chart to tack up by the writing station because...well, they seem to forget sometimes! ;)
The results were some AWESOME little people like this: {I love how much thought they put in the details!} I specifically said to not draw or color outside of the person. We will be using this paper all week to add to!  {this little guy has a brace on his leg. Do you see it?! LOVE!!}
{look at the details in her necklace! LOVE!}

I know it sounds tedious...but if you spend this time at the beginning of the year then your results by the end will be well worth it! Happy writing!!


  1. This is awesome! Thank you for the cute illustration and idea. I can't wait to implement it into my own classroom next week.

  2. I am SO going to do this with my kinders! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for such great post! I am totally passing this along to my kindergarten teacher at my school. :) She will love this!

  4. ummm.... your directed drawings are so cute! I'm going to show them to my A!

  5. This was a delightful post from start to finish. First I love the independent self portraits - I think it's so super cute when they have the arms coming out from the heads, but we all know that isn't right! I've never though before seen a way to TEACH them how to do it correctly! So I love your anchor chart and I will definitely be sharing it! Their second pictures were perfect! Better than some of my 2nd graders' portraits.

  6. Thanks for sharing this! We follow Lucy Calkins at my school, but I also want to provide additional support for strugglers. I appreciate the lesson plan and ideas! Jen :)

  7. I love the idea of showing students how to draw a person straight up to avoid those students saying I can't draw a person and then refuse to do anything. However sometimes I love seeing the childrens own interpretations of what a person looks like. With your little instructional the kids still can add the details though. I'm so conflicted haha.
    Sheri :)
    Early Years with Sheri

  8. Thanks for showing ME how to draw a person! I am one of those teachers who draw stick figures because I cannot draw at all. When I attempt to draw a person like yours, it never looks like that!

  9. Hi Nicole!!
    I would be super interested in seeing if you had additional writing planners available. Teaching writing to my kinders has always been something I struggle with and I am looking for better ways to teach them. I loved your * week one* plans and I saw your January and February planner. I would love to see more plans for the beginning of the school year like you week one (would even pay on tpt). Thank you Thank you Thank you if this is possible...

  10. Thanks for the lesson plan! It is exactly what I was looking for. Do you have any information on the interactive notebook that you use? Is it available for purchase? I am looking for help trying to organize everything the first weeks of school. Do you use interactive notebooks for other subjects.

  11. This is good for me and for my students. Thank you! I can't wait to use this in 2 weeks.

  12. I can't wait to start this tomorrow! This is exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing! :)


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