The Common Core State Standards for Language Arts state that media skills should be blended throughout the reading and writing standards. Wixie provides a powerful platform for students to “employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use.”
In the elementary classroom, it is important to engage students in reading both literature and informational text, teach them how to organize both information and thinking, and provide engaging practice in narrative, informational, and argument writing. Students can use Wixie to both organize and showcase their writing.
Organizing ideas during the writing process
Wixie makes a great digital canvas for student writing, and can also help students organize their ideas and thinking during the writing process. Wixie includes graphic organizer templates like pros and cons, 5W's and an OREO opinion organizer, that help students make sense of new ideas and organize research information. Wixie templates, like beginning-middle-end and plot diagrams, are most often used to assess student comprehension of a story, but make great supports to help students write their own narrative fiction.
Getting students to write their own stories generally means encouraging them to find their voice and to learn how to give voice to the characters in their stories. Support emerging writers using Wixie templates, like sentence strips, to share observations and tell basic stories through simple sentences and supporting illustrations. As students get older and more sophisticated with their writing, have them write in a range of narrative forms, such as fables and fairy tales. Wixie also includes a range of poetry templates to support students as they write haiku, cinquain, limericks, and more.
You can pair writing with reading, as well as connect students more deeply to the texts they are reading, by asking them to create adaptations of the books you are reading. For example, read a story like Judi Barrett’s Things That are Most in the World and ask students to create their own pages that provide readers with context clues about the meaning of superlatives through text and pictures. If you choose a title like Edith Baer’s This is the Way We Go to School, it is easy to into change the project into writing how-to informational text.
The Common Core State Standards include a renewed focus on informational text and the writing standards also have an entire section dedicated research skills for building and presenting knowledge. Students can use Wixie to create their own informational texts and eBooks. Wixie text tools make it easy to adjust text formatting for informational text features like headings and labels. Students can also use Wixie’s paint tool and image library to develop “illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.”(CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.A)
But research reports don’t have to be the only expository writing students author. There are lots of ways to change the product students create to help them move from copy and paste to high-level thinking projects.
For example, students can create more exciting information products like:
Interviews are also a fun way to get students away from a simple regurgitation of facts. During an interview with an animal or artifact or person from history, students must empathize with the subject and share information from a first-person perspective.
In grades 2 and 3, students are not ready for full fledged argument writing, but are beginning to connect opinion and reasons. The Common Core State Standards mention writing opinion pieces about books they are reading. You can find several different book review templates in the Wixie curriculum library to assign or customize.
You can also combine literature with letter writing to provide context for student’s opinion writing. For example, you could ask students to write letters to Farmer Brown from a new animal after reading them Doreen Cronin’s Click, Clack, Moo. You could also read Marc Brown’s Arthur’s Pet Business and ask students to write a letter to persuade their parents to get a family pet.
A more sophisticated project might use Wixie to persuade others to read a book through a movie-style book trailer. Students can also use Wixie to develop multi-page presentations to persuade others, such as this student’s argument about whether students should be allowed to have cell phones.
No matter which type of writing you have students do, Wixie provides a canvas for their ideas that helps them share their knowledge and understanding in creative ways that support and encourage their growing skills as writers.