Procedural Writing – Grade Three

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Procedural Writing – Grade Three
Saskatchewan School Library Association
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Procedural Writing
Instructions, rules and procedures aim to ensure something is performed correctly and a successful outcome is achieved. The process is given in the order in which it needs to be undertaken to achieve a successful outcome - usually a series of sequenced steps. Like all text types, variants of instructions can occur (i.e., pictorial rather than text based) and can be combined with other text types.
There are different procedural texts for different purposes: Texts that explain how something works or how to use instruction/operation manuals, for example, how to use the video, the computer, the photocopier.  Texts that instruct how to do a particular activity, for example, recipes, rules for games, science experiments, road safety rules.  Texts that deal with human behaviour, for example, how to live happily, how to succeed.
Understanding The Genre
 Understand lists are a functional way to organize information  Understand that the form of a list or procedure is usually one item under another and it
may be numbered  Understand procedural writing (how-to) as a list of directions for how to do something
and a list of what is needed  Learn how to craft procedural writing from mentor texts
Writing In the Genre
 Make lists in the appropriate form with one item under another  Use lists to plan activities or support memory  Use a list to inform writing  Use number words or transition words  Make lists with items that are appropriate to the purpose of the list  Write procedural or how-to books with pictures to illustrate steps  Write steps of a procedure with appropriate sequence and explicitness
Fountas and Pinnell
Generic Text Structure: The structure of an instruction text is often (but not always): • Goal – a statement of what is to be achieved, i.e. How to make a sponge cake • Materials/equipment needed, listed in order, i.e. 2 eggs, flour  Sequenced steps to achieve the goal, i.e. Cream the sugar and butter.  Often diagrams or illustrations
Language Features: The language features of an instruction text are often (but not always):  Written in the imperative, i.e. Sift the flour or 2nd person i.e. first you put ...  In chronological order, i.e. First, next  Use of numbers, alphabet or bullet points and colour to signal order  Use of adverbs and adjectives for precision – i.e. measure carefully
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Work on Writing Format
Writing Block

Reflect/Share 15%

Partner/Group Work 15%

Explicit Modelling 25%

Independent Work 45%

Explicit Modelling  25% (10 – 15 minutes)  Mini-Lessons: Aloud, Documenting Thinking, Explicit modelling of new skills or traits  Read Aloud – Mentor Text
Independent Time  45% (20 – 25 minutes)  Independent writing  Response to writing
Partner/Group Time  15% (5 – 10 minutes)  Share and coalesce thinking  Revisit inquiry question – What is the new learning?
Reflect/Group Share  15% (5 – 10 minutes)  5 SPS Questions  Share new learnings related to inquiry question

Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015


Day One Identify Background Knowledge
Tasks:  Read Procedural Mentor
Text: Snowballs (Ehlert)  Pre-assessment: How To
Make a Snowman

Day Two Ideas: Generate Idea Lists
Tasks:  Identify learned
procedures: Games, Recipes, Pets, Crafts, Safety Rules, and School Procedures

Day Three Organization: Sequencing Steps & Titles

Day Four Text Structure: Number & Transitional Words

Tasks:  Place directions in an incorrect order for students to rearrange
 Create recipe with provided ingredients
 Create title for procedure

 Read Procedural Mentor Text authored by Inez Synder
 Chart sequencing words (first, next, now, …)

Day Six Sentence Fluency & Voice: Passive Voice & Sentence Length

Day Seven Organization: Adding A Materials List

Day Eight Explore Lists And Introduction

 View video How to Sneak your Monster into School, ( /watch?v=wr19EXKW2XI), looking at how the author uses clear & precise words
 Read Procedural Mentor Text: Any How-To Book
 Discuss passive voice and the use of bullet points or numbers, and short sentences to help the reader.

Tasks:  Show examples of materials lists in recipes and craft books.  Model how to add a materials list for making something familiar, such as a smoothie/
 Co-construct anchor chart.

 Read Procedural Mentor Text: Tool Box (Gibbons) or How To Lose All Your Friends (Carlson)
 Outline, and show other examples of How-To books outlining different sections: an introduction a material list, the steps, and a closing
 Construct sample introductions.

Day Nine Explore Manuals, Instructions Rules, & Conclusions
Tasks:  Read Procedural Mentor
Text: How To Make Salsa  Outline, and show other
examples of How-To books outlining a closing  Discuss the purpose and variations of How-To conclusions.  Use a think-aloud to send off readers using a conclusion to sample piece of writing.

Day Five Word Choice: Precise Verbs, Adverbs & Adjectives
Tasks:  Cookie Monster making a sandwich ( /watch/?v=-3w8sE72wmE).  Discuss ways the directions could have been clarified.  Chart action and detail words (adjectives & adverbs)
Day Ten Text Features: Adding Tips and Cautions To Help The Reader
Tasks:  Show samples of text of an author’s inclusion of a warning box, such as The Pumpkin Book (Gibbons)  Model how to add a tip to a sample piece of writing.

Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Day Eleven Text Features: Adding Pictures, Diagrams & Labels To Help Readers

Day Twelve - Fourteen SnapGuide

 Read Procedural Mentor Text: Growing Vegetable Soup (Ehlert) to display pictures which show process and demonstrate final outcome
 Create anchor chart of text features which could help clarify the procedure for the reader, such as bold words, captions, arrows and action lines, extra information in parenthesis, and closeup or zoom in pictures

 Demonstrate SnapGuide and view recipes and other DIY projects
 Have students type their procedure and materials list on SnapGuide. It is recommended having a teacher account and providing students with the password.
 Snap photos or pictures of student illustrations detailing each step of the process. It is recommended that the pictures be saved in a folder prior to typing procedure.

Day Fifteen Celebration
 Celebrate with a publishing party.
 Bring cookies and juice.
 Have students take turns displaying their stories

Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Mentor Texts
Procedural Book Examples
How To – Julie Morstad Tool Book – Gail Gibbons The Pumpkin Book - Gail Gibbons (how to carve a pumpkin) How to Raise Mom and Dad – Josh Lerman How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps –Jennifer Larue Huget and Edward Koren How to Babysit a Grandpa - Jean Reagan How to Babysit a Grandma – Jean Reagan How to Be a Baby . . . by Me, the Big Sister - Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap Growing Vegetable Soup - Lois Ehlert (how to plant a vegetable garden, how to make soup) Charlie Needs a Cloak - Tomie dePaola (how to make a cloak) Fancy Nancy Tea Parties - Jane O’Connell (how to fold napkins, how to make a placemat) How to Lose All Your Friends - Nancy Carlson How to Teach a Slug to Read - Susan Pearson Snowballs – Lois Ehlert 101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up: Fun activities for you to check off your list – Weldon
Books with Recipes
Growing Vegetable Soup - Lois Ehlert Kid’s Fun and Healthy Cookbook - Nicola Graimes
Books with Sequential Words
Wax to Crayons - Inez Snyder Trees to Paper - Inez Snyder Milk to Ice Cream - Inez Snyder Tomatoes to Ketchup - Inez Snyder
Fictional Stories and Poetry
Oliver's Must-Do List - Susan Brown Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems - Georgia Heard
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Day One: Identify Background Knowledge
How To Make A Snowman
You Need
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Student Name: ____________________________ Date: _______
Writing Task: ______________________________________________
 Title is appropriate and states goal  Introduction introduces the procedure  Details are logically developed and specific  Diagrams or illustrations enhance the description  Conclusion is a specific and precise end to the procedure
 Format is clear and easy to read  Needed materials/equipment are listed in order  Visual presentation is appropriate and functional,
including numbered steps  Steps are sequenced to achieve the goal  Numbers, alphabet or bullet points or colour are used to
signal order
 Sentences are complete  Punctuation is appropriate
 Written in the imperative, e.g. Sift the flour or 2nd person e.g first you put ...
 Steps provide a clear understanding of the procedure  Action verbs, adverbs and adjectives are used for
precision – e.g measure carefully
 Action words are included
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015


I can write an appropriate title for the procedure.
I can include the needed materials and the quantities.
I can sequence and number my instructions.
I can include notes or cautions.
I can add labels to my pictures to help the reader.

I can state my purpose for the procedure in the introduction.
I can write detailed step by step directions which include vivid adjectives and adverbs.
I can write in the present tense.
I can add pictures to illustrate the steps in the procedure.
I can write a conclusion.

Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

Day Two: Generate Idea Lists
Post the following posters. Students list learned procedures in order to generate writing ideas.
Food We Know How To Make
Carlene Walter | THE MEDIUM – SPRING 2015

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Procedural Writing – Grade Three