Writing in content area should start as soon as possible, ideally, pre-kindergarten. One way to do this in an insect unit is teacher assisted journaling twice a week. The teacher will sit at the exploration table with the, magnifying glasses, journals, markers, and caterpillars and butterflies in the habitat. The teacher will call students over in pre-formed groups. The groups are based on ability. The groups who are not capable of writing letter yet, will draw a picture using markers to continue to journal about the changes in the caterpillars that they see. The next leveled groups will write the first letter of the word, which they observe. For example, if a child sees the butterfly, the child will look at the flash card with butterfly, write the first letter, and continue to draw a picture of the butterfly. The final group will find the flash card with the stage of the butterfly and attempt to write the word. If the student does not write all the letters correctly or in the right order, that is ok. Grouping should be determined as follows:
1. Journal writing will be done in pictures to describe what the student observes in place of words.
2. Journal writing will be done with an emphasis on the first letter sounds C, L, and B, in addition to pictures.
3. Journal writing will be done with beginning words using flash cards to copy words from, in addition to pictures.
The desired outcome is to connect writing to the content area of science. The desired outcome is not having students write correctly with letter formation or word spelling. Hopefully, students will learn to research things they do not know (flash cards), learn science observations, and learn to write.