Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How To Make a Heart

Since Valentine's Day is coming soon, I decided to introduce our How To lessons this year with How To Make a Heart.

I love writing How To books with my class.  They "get" it, because there is always something they want to teach to their friends. They are proud to share their books because they're useful- AND it's a great time to remind the children that they need to print neatly, so other people can learn from their books. I posted all about how I teach How To writing here.

I found some wonderful freebies on TPT to go along with teaching How To writing!  These are great reinforcements for the lessons. 

Now, onto  my heart lesson!
FIRST, we did our interactive writing lesson using our fabulous four words: First, Next, Then, and Last.  I use these words a lot during our How To study- lining up by tables, calling groups to the rug, any chance I get, so they are reinforced all the time.

NEXT, we demonstrated each step to make sure the directions worked, and that it was a good way to make a heart. 

THEN, I explained that we would each be making our own How To Make a Heart book so we could teach everyone in our family, and have tons and tons of paper hearts for all of February- because what could be better than that?!  I haven't had everyone write the same book before, but I knew all the kids loved making hearts, and I wanted us to go through the steps of the book together for their first book.  I really liked doing this.  

LAST, we wrote the books!  I had the kids make the books in ONE day during one Writer's Workshop lesson.  I think I would spread it out over two days next time (2 pages a day), but it actually worked fine.
(I scattered some extra practice hearts around that some of the kids used with their hearts on their book covers.)

One of the most fun parts of this book was that there were no illustrations to draw, because we used "3D illustrations" by using examples on each page showing the steps.  They LOVED this.  You just need to have lots of quarter pieces of paper cut ahead of time, because each child will need about five.  I gave them one at a time as we did each page, so they were all with me and not getting ahead.
Just remind the kids to draw the 2 on the fold.  I demonstrated how it doesn't work if you don't draw it on the fold- and you end up  only two heart halves.  It's also important that they draw the two in the right direction...  details, details, details...

During free choice I got out lots of red, pink, purple, and white paper, markers, and my fun scissors. I even heard those four magic "how to" words when someone was helping another friend make a heart. It's fun to hear them teaching each other.  It was How To in action!  Yes, there were scraps everywhere- but when you think of it, it was much easier to clean up than peanut butter and jelly or something else they could be learning "how to" make! Plus, they LOVE to be human vacuum cleaners during clean up time, so there's never a dull moment.

Have fun making hearts! You just can't be in a bad mood when you're making hearts.  It's sort of like how there's no angry way to say "bubbles."  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. What an engaging way to teach How To writing ~ I'd never seen the fold and make a two process. Love it ~ Thanks! Anne

  2. I have to pin this and do it with my kiddos. LOVE IT! Kindergarten Rocks Blog

  3. Love this idea for working on How To writing. Thanks for putting all the freebie tpt resources together. Your posts are always so helpful.

    Luv My Kinders


Search This Blog