Writing Wednesday (Freebie)

When I brought in my dinosaur word wall, I hung it up on our mobile whiteboard while my students were out at Music. When they came back and went to carpet it was the first thing they saw. One boy was so excited he said "Oh baby!" and then practically drooled over it lol! They could not wait to get to writing - they finished their math work in record time and asked if they could move directly to carpet to begin writing. I soon had two camps set up - a group of boys gathered on the carpet, enthusiastically writing stories about dinosaurs chasing and eating each other and another group of girls sitting more demurely at our reading table, writing about paleontologists finding bones.

An interesting thing that came up during their writing was the use of exclamation points. The boys wanted to write a suspenseful sentence such as "He looked up and there was a Tyrannosaurus!" but they wanted to ensure the reader would know to pause for suspense, so they wrote it as "He looked up and there !!! was !!! a !!! Tyrannosaurus!!!" It was the perfect chance to read each sentence to them and let them hear the difference. Once I read both sentences to them they could clearly hear that placing exclamation points in the middle of their sentences did not give them the effect they were going for. I was impressed that they had moved to the point where they were writing with a thought to how the story would sound when read aloud!

I decided to share the dinosaur word wall file with you as a freebie today. I used pictures from the public domain, which a) means I don't have to worry about Terms of Use not allowing me to share freebies and b) I think pictures are much better than clipart for science/social studies topics. As I said before, my ELL students often have a hard time with vocabulary, but giving them a realistic picture clue is a great help.

Here's how I made mine:

I bought a brown poster board and dinosaur stickers at Hobby Lobby. Every few weeks Hobby Lobby puts its stickers on sale for 40% off, so that's usually when I stock up for upcoming themes.
 I printed out my word wall cards and arranged them to my liking on the board and glued them down. I actually didn't have room for 2 of the cards, so I had to sacrifice the Kentosaurus and volcano, but I felt the other words were more important. Then I arranged my stickers to decorate the poster board and inspire my students. When I got to work I laminated the whole thing for durability. This step is important because otherwise the cards will peel off over time. I usually leave mine in a prominent position while we work on that theme and then relegate it to a lesser used but still accessible area for anyone who may want to look up a word, so they are often up for a few months. With so much effort put into them, I want these to last!
Here are some of my boys, collaborating on their stories. If you look closely you can see that one of them wrote "Write about dinosaurs" beneath the poster board. I guess they wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing lol!

I had grabbed those dinosaur books from a school that closed. When they opened it to scavengers teachers, most everything had been stripped down and it was almost a waste of time until I realized that the library still had a ton of old non-fiction books left in it. Some of it is definitely over my kiddos' reading range, but they love the pictures and trying to puzzle out the words. They have found that the captions under the pictures and the diagrams are interesting enough to tough through the books! Of course I have appropriate level texts for them as well (see my dino book picks on the right side of the blog) but not nearly enough for everyone, so this is a nice supplement.

If you'd like a copy of my dino word walls cards, click here to grab it for free in my TPT store! Also, be sure to enter my giveaway, it ends Friday night! Three lucky winners will each get a set of 35 BragTags and chains! Here are the Dinosaur BragTags that my students will earn this week!

I'm linking this up to TBS's Freebie Friday, go check out all the great freebies!

Freebie Fridays

1 Rustle Up A Response!:

Lisa R. said... Reply to comment

Those dinosaur brag tags are so cute!!

Learning Is Something to Treasure

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