We started our writing time with the cartoon, Knick Knack by Pixar. It is so cute! If you've never seen it, you can watch it below but DISCLAIMER!!! The one on youtube is not as kid-friendly. It was originally created back in the late 80's, and the bikini clad girl and the mermaid CLEARLY have had some work done. ;-) You can find the kid-appropriate version at the beginning of the Finding Nemo DVD. They changed the girls, but everything else is the same...
So for YOUR viewing pleasure:
So back to the lesson... after watching the short, I had them turn and talk with a partner about what it would be like if they were trapped in a snow globe... or maybe they weren't "trapped!" Maybe they just live there, but they encounter ANOTHER problem inside the snow globe. Some ideas they thought of were: it's always cold, I have no friends because I'm in there by myself, someone put a spell on me and put me in a snow globe, and my favorite: people keep looking in at me with their big eyes! Once they got some ideas rolling around, I gave them this graphic organizer to begin brainstorming:
(you can download for yourself, too, by clicking on the picture!)
I want these stories to have "action!" I don't want to read 25 stories about what their snowglobe looks like and who lives there and they play together and THE END. :) So, I created this graphic organizer for that purpose. We've talked about how usually the problem or the conflict happens around the "middle" of a shorter narrative (in other words, not a chapter book) and the solution happens towards the end, so instead of putting beginning/middle/end on the graphic organizer, I used introduction/problem/solution to remind them they NEED to have a conflict and a resolution in their story. For "setting" they should draw what they want it to look like and label with important words to include in their story.
When my kids have finished, I think I am going to borrow Denise's idea and take pictures of them and have them make their snowglobes they described in their story to put with their published writing!
I hope you can use these ideas! If you have some great winter ideas of your own, make sure to share them in the comments! I love getting new ideas to do in the classroom! :)