Grade 1 Story Writing

Story Narrative Imaginative … Creative …

At the beginning of your story writing unit, have students write a story and assess using a narrative quick scale (see assessment tab above for student-friendly rubrics).  Use this assessment to inform your instruction.  As you explicitly teach each mini-lessons like those below, assess again, providing students with descriptive feedback regarding their progress. When students see their progress on a highlighted rubric, they are motivated to continue.

Book Title/Cover Story Overview Objective Lesson Links & Black Line Masters
It can be hard to tell one worm from another, so why not embellish them a bit!  Well, if you can’t draw, you might have troubles embellishing.  But that’s what makes this book so funny.   Using this book as a launch, kindergarten students will add a detail to their picture of an easy-to-draw, worm.  Could a worm be purple?  Could it wear glasses, a hat or running shoes?  Of course it could.  Just add a detail and and prepare for laughter!  From there, a class book is born. Writing Trait: Ideas & Voice

I Can Only Draw Worms 


 What do you like and dislike? Lots of examples are shared in this sure to please book.  Team it up with Tony Johnson’s, The Magic of Letters and you’ve got emergent literacy at its best! This book offers a perfect segue into finding out a bit more about your students’ likes and dislikes.  Pictures can be drawn and best-guess letters used to describe favourite things and things rather avoided.  Writing Trait: Ideas & Conventions

I Like Bees, I Don’t Like Honey


When two of Moose’s letters come loose, cow comes to the rescue.  But in a search for the letters G-L-U-&-E, several hilarious word changes occur. Read this book aloud to your class, then place in a literacy centre along with lots of letter tiles and watch children play with words to make a few funny switch-a-roos.  A class book is more than possible here! Writing Trait:  Word Choice &

If The S in Moose Comes Loose

Lena creates a hat for each month of the year.  She carefully chooses items that fit each month.  But how will she decorate her last hat? Children will delight in noticing all the details that Lena has included in each month’s hat.  After making a hat themselves, students will describe thier hat by adding lots of details to their writing. Writing Trait: Ideas adding details

Adding details to a hat and to writing

BCs core competencies and Todd Parr books just go together. A variety of Todd Parr books are teamed with core competency messages.  Writing Trait: Ideas adding details

Todd Parr and BCs Core competencies

Bear Sees Colours Bear sees colours everywhere.  children are invited to see colours in their world too! In this lesson students are invited to play with colour and begin to write colour words.  Images from Pintrest are used as inspiration for playful ideas. Writing Trait: Ideas

Bear Sees Colours

“Sit back, relax, stay right where you are.  It’s time to reveal my spectacular car!” This rhyming book is sure to spark curiosity and fuel creativity! Kids will use their imagination and variety of How-To-Draw books to design and label, then write about a very creative car they have imagined.  Throw in some cars to play with and a trip out to the parking lot to build some car-specific vocabulary, and you’ve got a kid-friendly, playful writing lesson! Writing Trait: Ideas (details) & Organization (beginning and ending)If I Built a Car lesson

If I Built a Car

kindergarten & grade one BLM

Charlie is babysitting Lola and must get her to eat some not-so-favourite foods. How will he manage that? Before trying to write stories of their own, students need to hear examples of story problems and their solutions.  In this lesson, students use a framewowork to guide their thinking.  Writing Trait: Ideas

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato SWBS

Somebody Wanted But So picture poster

Willow wants to be heard, but her tiny voice means that she is often left out. Does Willow find her voice? Read this delightful book to find out what happens. Read Willow’s dialogue in a whisper and have a conversation about the voice trait. Students will fill out a SWBS graphic organizer to determine this story’s problem and solution. This prepares them to write stories that have clear ideas. Writing Trait: IdeasWillow’s Whispers
Lean the book to the left. What will happen to the dots? Now try shaking it. Predict your way through this book as you hand it over to kids to rub, shake, tap and lean. Playful literacy at its best! Don’t miss this delightful book.  It’s perfect as an introduction to the Voice trait in writing and a fabulous book to share predictions. Student predictions turn into creative text alternatives. Read the attached lesson for a fun response to this book. Writing Trait: Ideas Press Here

Special thanks to Mary Weiler’s class at Ecole Puntledge for their examples.

Daniel Kirk’s Library Mouse is a sweet story of a mouse, turned writer, who lives in a library.  When library patrons want to see who the amazing new author is, a shy mouse has an interesting solution and a warm message for our young writers! In this lesson, children play first, then write about a mouse house they have created.  The learning intention is to add deluxe details to capture the reader’s interest. Writing Trait: IdeasLibrary Mouse: Adding Deluxe Details 
Bear does not like visitors. He even has a sign to prove it. But the little mouse is not so quick to leave. Will bear have a change of heart? Before trying to write stories of their own, students need to hear examples of story problems and their solutions.  In this lesson, students use a framewowork to guide their thinking. Writing Traits: Ideas
Frog wants to fly, but flying is a bird thing. When frog rescues a baby bird, flying just might become a frog thing too! In this link, students will once again examine the problem and solution framework of this story. Writing Trait: IdeasProblem and Solution Lesson
All the Dandelions are disappearing quickly, but Christopher Nibble finds one. Will he gobble it up quickly before others find it? This book has a heartwarming theme. Students will examine the problem and solution framework of this story and others. Writing Trait: IdeasChristopyher Nibble SWBS
Missy isn’t keen on books, but with just the right book, Miss Brooks might be able to change that attitude. In this lesson link, character flaws are examined as a way to create a problem for a story. Writing Trait: IdeasMiss Brooks Loves Books and I Don’t
In this video clip, Faye demonstrates how four objects can be used to fuel the imagination. By drawing first, students have the time to plan and talk before they write. Writing Trait: Ideas     It’s In The Bag: a video from S.D. 72
Follow the daily events told from the perspective of a goldfish. When living conditions become too crowded, will this goldfish enjoy his new, quiet surroundings? In this lesson, students write diary entries pretending they are a house pet, farm or zoo animal. Writing Traits: Voice and IdeasMemoirs of a Goldfish