Grade: all
Subject: Language

#3745. How-to lesson

Language, level: all
Posted Wed Apr 19 14:42:40 PDT 2006 by Jenelle Sell (
Harbour View, Huntington Beach, CA
Concepts Taught: writing a How-to lesson using a PBNJ

Writing a How-To Paragraph

1. Content Standard for the Teaching Profession: Standard for Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students. Drawing on and valuing students' backgrounds, interests, and developmental learning needs. (4.1).

2. Grade Level Content Standards: 5th Grade Writing Standards: Establish a topic, important ideas, or events in sequence or chronological order (W1.2a). Provide details and transitional expressions that link one paragraph to another in a clear line of thought (W1.2b). Offer a concluding paragraph that summarizes important ideas and details (W1.2c).

3. Standards of Behavior: I expect you to pay attention during instruction, so that you know what is expected of you. Take your time and work hard. It is often easy to think you are explaining something enough, but you may be leaving something out. Take care of the materials you are using and clean up after you are done.

4. Materials: Peanut butter, jelly, bread, knife, "How to make a peanut butter sandwich" transparency, "Order Words" transparency, pencils paper.

5. Introduction/Anticipatory Set: I have all of these items here, but I don't know what to do with them? (show peanut butter, jelly, bread, and knife). Who can tell me what I am supposed to do with these? Take answers from students. . ."What am I supposed to do first?" (follow their instructions exactly, as if you have no clue what you are supposed to do) If they answer, put the peanut butter on the bread, then you literally place the jar of peanut butter on the bread. Go through the process of making a peanut butter sandwich with the students. Now, how many of you have ever had the chance to tell or teach another person how to do something that maybe they didn't know how to do? (Allow students to answer and share what they taught somebody). Well, today we are going to learn about how to write a "how-to" paragraph. Each of you are going to have the opportunity to teach your writing audience how to do something!

6. Statement of Behavioral Objective: Given an example and instruction on how to write a how-to paragraph, students will be able to identify characteristics of a good how-to paragraph, use order words to clarify the order of steps in their paragraph, and also write their own how-to paragraph with 98% accuracy.

7. Instruction/Teaching:
• Display transparency on "How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich"
• Read through it with students and ask them, "What is the topic of this paragraph?" "What sentence states the topic?" "What materials do we need to make a peanut butter sandwich?" and "What are the steps that need to be followed?"
• Go over all of these answers with the students so that they can see a proper "How-To" paragraph modeled.
• Then discuss with students the guidelines they need to follow when writing a "How-To" Paragraph.
• Before writing, they need to outline each step by doing the activity yourself. (If this is not possible, have them do the activity in their head and write out the steps).
• Then, in the topic sentence, describe what skill will be taught.
• Next, you tell what materials are needed.
• Explain each step clearly and in order of events.
• If necessary, you can include diagrams or pictures to help you clarify your process.
• Next, display the "Using Order Words" transparency.
• Discuss with students how important it is that they use order words in their how-to paragraph. Order words help readers understand a process and keep track of the sequence of steps.
• Read passage 1 aloud and then go over passage 2 together as a class. Discuss order words that they may use and list on board or overhead.
• Ask students to think up an activity to write about and ask them to get started.

8. Closure: Check to make sure that students are on task and on their way to writing a successful "how-to" paragraph. Encourage students to proofread and do a final draft in which they will turn in. Make sure that they are using many order words and using detail. Ask students if they enjoyed the lesson. What did they like/dislike about this activity or type of writing? Put together a class "How-To" book!

9. Assessment: Go through student's paragraphs and make sure that they completed the writing task successfully and that they met their objectives.

10. Independent Practice: For homework you are responsible for finishing your final draft of your paragraph and drawing a picture to go along with it. Then we will put together a class book!

11. Blooms Taxonomy:
• Knowledge-"How do I put together this sandwich?"
• Comprehension- "Describe to me, using order words, how to put together a peanut butter sandwich."
• Application- "Suggest two possible ways to state what comes next in your paragraph"
• Analysis- "Which of these two words would I use to describe how to do something to someone."
• Synthesis- "Taylor, how can you explain to us how to tie your shoes?"
• Evaluation-"What are some of the important guidelines to remember when writing a "How-To" paragraph?"

12. SDAIE Strategies:
• Contextualization- Using physical examples of peanut butter, jelly, and bread.
• Bridging- Making a sandwich in front of the class (most students have done this before).
• Modeling- Going over how to write this type of paragraph, visually, and auditory.
• Schema-building- Writing examples of order words to use on the board.
• Meta-cognitive Development- Talking about how we make the sandwich, talking about what words to use when teaching it.
• Text Re-representation- Using real objects to show how the sandwich is made and also reading a proper example on how we make the sandwich.