Monday, September 30, 2013

Johnny Appleseed Writing Project

Second grade is off to a great start!  September has been a super busy month with getting classroom routines set into place, back to school night, benchmark testing, and the list goes on…
September has also been full of one of my favorite themes, apples!!! This includes a little tribute to Johnny Appleseed.  This year I did a little writing project with my class that incorporated a lesson on Tall Tales. The kids love exploring the crazy, wild creativity that goes along with Tall Tales.
We started by reading Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg.  I like this version because it has the best illustrations and details to demonstrate Tall Tales.  I also like the opening of the story and have the students model the opening of their writing pieces after this book.

Once we read the story we created an anchor chart of all the tall tales we found in the story.  The kids LOVED pointing out all the ridiculous tales in the book and they were mesmerized by the wonder of all of his adventures.
Here is a picture of the anchor chart we made. Not the prettiest but it helped the students organize what they read.  At the top I wrote a suggested opening for their stories which is modeled after the first line of the actual story retold by Steven Kellogg.  The students insert their name in place of Johnny Appleseed and their birthday as well.  Being that it is so early in the year I haven’t taught Openings and Closings so modeling after the author was an appropriate transition into their stories.
 Second Grade Blogs

The next thing I had the class do was to make a list of their own tall tales in their “Writer’s Notebooks.”  I think they enjoyed this part of the lesson the most.  I gave them time to share some of their favorites and I heard everything from “being chased by a giant blue whale to taking my dog for a walk to the moon and back.”  Boy those second graders can really think of some creative stuff
I gave the students a guideline that they needed to include at least 3 tall tale adventures in their own stories.
After the students published a final copy of their writing on cute apple tree stationary, I took their pictures for the final touch. I took a picture of each kid wearing a pot on his/her head (just like yours truly-Johnny Appleseed) and holding an apple.
Here are some finished examples.
 Second Grade Blogs

 Second Grade Blogs

To celebrate the completion of our tall tales, we munched on our apples. :)