Writing Unit Overviews

Unit 9: Poetry
Students love writing poetry because it allows them to explore, play around with and be silly with language.  In this unit, students will not only think about what they want to write but also make decisions on how they plan to write it.

Students will understand that . . ..

  • Poetry is a unique way to communicate about and describe thoughts and feeling
  • The layout of print and illustrations are important in conveying the meaning of a text
  • Writers become better writers when they share suggestions and seek feedback from others

Ways to help at home

  • Talk about possible topics for poetry (poetry hides EVERYWHERE so any topic is possible) Poets write best when they write about what they know!
  • Encourage your child to notice not only the big things around them, but also the small things – poets see the smallest, little details that other people just walk by

Unit 8: Advertising Campaign
This unit gives the students an opportunity to flex their persuasive skills by creating persuasive advertisements to “sell” various products, including their own product or service during Marketplace.  This is a fun and practical unit.

Students will:

  • Learn to write advertisements through studying examples and published mentor texts
  • Think about their audience and determine what they must in an advertisement to influence or persuade them to purchase their product
  • Become better writers when they share suggestions and seek feedback from others

Ways you can help at home:

  • Be on the lookout for great pieces of advertisement
  • Talk about what makes you want to purchase something
  • Have discussions about marketing techniques all around you

Unit 8:  Mini NonFiction Feature Article
Students will aim to independently use their understanding of informational writing to inform an audience on a topic of interest during this writing unit.  This is our second non fiction writing unit.

By the end of this unit, we’d like students to understand that

  • The purpose of writing informational texts is to inform the reader about something
  • Revision is a means for making written messages stronger and clearer to readers
  • Writers can offer help to others by providing constructive suggestions

Ways to Help at Home:

  • Help your child brainstorm different topics that they might like to find out about
  • Talk about what might be interesting to inform others about the chosen topic
  • Help your child research and locate information on their chosen topic (using safe search engines & resources provided on the classroom blogs/eshub blogs).  Encourage your child to cite the sources used.
  • Provide access to a variety of NonFiction books  (visit the Hub or bookstore together)

Unit 7: Short Realistic Fiction
This unit will focus on lifting the level of writing for your child so they are writing well-crafted short realistic fiction stories.
By the end of this unit, we’d like the students to understand that

  • Realistic Fiction short stories are about an event in the life of the main character
  • Revising is a repeated process
  • Writers use tools to assist with self-editing and self-evaluate writing
  • Writers become better when they share ideas and listen to other writers

During this unit, a strong emphasis will be placed on “rehearsing” their stories – rehearsal (talking about/talking through) of story ideas is VITAL to help create/craft a short, concise realistic fiction story rather than the long, cumbersome “novel” that often occurs with writers in this age group.

How you can help at home:

  • Provide a quiet study space for your child to write
  • Talk with your child about possible characters, realistic problems, and solutions for story ideas.
  • Help your child “rehearse” their story idea – talk through the 2-4 scenes that their story should have to encourage short, concise stories
  • Remind your child of events in their own lives that they could use for ideas – consider how it might have gone differently (to make it realistic fiction rather than being completely true)
  • Look at photos to help come up with story ideas
  • Think about places that are familiar and talk through what could happen there
  • Think of a strong emotion and talk about what could happen to a character who experiences that emotion
  • Having their own special journal can help motivate writing – B2S has a fabulous supply of notebooks/journals etc at very low prices

Unit 6:  Choice Unit – Independent Projects
A continuation of the Choice Unit started in Trimester 1 – most students have chosen to create a magazine, comic or short chapter book and write the content themselves.

Unit 5: Persuasive Letters

Unit 4:  How It’s Done
In this unit of study students will be learning to independently use their understanding of procedural writing to explain to the reader how something is made, how something works or how something happens.  This type of writing is procedural in nature, in that it moves through the process in an organized way.

How you can help at home

  • Together with your child, look at various examples of procedural writing such as
    • Recipes
    • Instructions for Games
    • How-to manuals
    • Instruction booklets
  • Practise talking through how something is made or how something happens in ways that are clear and easy to understand – help your child to see the explanation in logical steps or an organized way
  • Help your child brainstorm different topics that they might feel knowledgeable enough to write an explanation of how it’s made or how it happens

Unit 3: Independent Choice Unit
This unit of study is all about Writing as Readers.  It is a non-specific genre unit which means that we will be looking at a variety of different genres including, but not limited to, fantasy, poetry, non-fiction, newspapers, articles etc.  The focus will be on exposure to different types of writing that writers create. Your child will be working on an independent writing project during this unit and will be encouraged to write in different writing genre styles.

How you can help at home

  • Have a wide variety of genres available for your child to read
  • Read a wide variety of genres to your child
  • Ask what genre they aref currently reading and why they think it’s that genre
  • Talk about what differences they are noticing about the different genres and what the authors are doing differently

Unit 2: Slice of Life
The Slice of Life writing unit is designed to teach your child to write effective narratives because every other kind of writing they will do relies upon their being skilled at writing narratives.  The focus will be to encourage rehearsal, revision throughout the writing process and effective editing. Your child will be learning to generate ideas, plan their writing and share events from their everyday lives.

How you can help at home 

  • When you’re riding in the car/golf-cart/van, tell your children a story about when you were little or tell them a story about something that happened at work that day. Leave off the ending and let them provide an ending
  • Talk about your own childhood memories
  • Tell lots of family stories. Ask lots of questions when your child tells you a story. Ask them to identify the beginning, middle, and end or climax of the story

Unit 1: Building A Writing Life

The purpose of this beginning-of-the-year unit is to help establish routines that will encourage student confidence and independence as well as develop a culture for writing.  From the beginning of the year, there is a strong need for writers to learn to write quickly and for a duration of time, developing stamina, volume and speed. They will develop good writing habits as they learn to live like writers from the first day of school.

How you can help at home

  • Let your child see you write for pleasure. Send family letters/emails to relatives or friends. Let everyone in the family contribute a part or an illustration.
  • Have a quiet place and a “basket of tools” available for your child to write
  • Listen to your child’s retellings and expand them. Encourage them to add more detail. Say, “That would make an amazing story.” Then, imagine the story together.” Say, “You should write about that.”
  • Encourage your child to bring their writer’s notebook whenever they go on family outings. Whether it’s to grandma’s house, a soccer game or restaurant, there will be plenty to notice, wonder and write about.