Would You Rather???

Writing is NOT my strong suit.  I love to write... but I don't love teaching it.  Our district uses the Lucy Calkins Units of Study.  I like how Lucy teaches personal narratives.  It's clear.  It teaches independence in writing.  My firsties have made a tremendous amount of growth in their narrative writing this year.

The rest of the units however... well, they leave something to be desired.  My first graders seem to need more concrete teaching than what Lucy has to offer.  Anyone else feel that way?!

This year I decided to veer from the books (GASP) and try some different approaches to writing how-to's, persuasive, and informative writing that meets the Common Core Standards.

Susan Moran over at T.G.I.F. to the rescue!  She is AH-mazing.  She is also my new writing workshop guru... though she may not know it yet, haha.  She has some seriously awesome writing units in her TPT store.  I have them ALL.  They make teaching writing SO much more fun and engaging!

Yesterday, we began our Opinion unit in writing workshop thanks to Susan!

We started by learning about facts and opinions yesterday.

Today we began working on forming our own opinions and giving reasons to back them up.  We played the game "Would You Rather?"  I had my kiddos face their writing partner and discuss each "Would You Rather" card that I read to them from Susan's writing unit.  So simple, right?

They had to be sure to give one or two reasons for their opinion.  We had a BLAST!  They had so much fun and I was really enjoying hearing their reasoning.  This is a PERFECT way to get them ready to begin the writing portion tomorrow.

Many of the kids were very thoughtful with their answers and reasoning.  And some of their answers just plain made me laugh!  Here are some of the highlights from the day:

  • Would you rather read a book or write a story?  "I would rather read a book, because I'm not a big fan of writing."  (Me neither buddy, me neither!)
  • Would you rather be stung by a bee or bit by a spider?  "I would rather be stung by a bee, because some spiders are poisonous and could really hurt me."  
  • Would you rather have a lot of money or a lot of friends?  "I would rather have a lot of money, so I could give it to the poor."  (Aw, bless her heart.)
  • Would you rather be the president for a day, or be a rock star for a day?  "I would rather be a rock star so I could pimp out."  (Bet your mother would love to know that one, haha!)
  • Would you rather go camping or go to the movies?  "I would rather go camping because I get to spend time with my family, sleep in an RV, and look at the stars."  

Be sure to check out Susan's blog post or her TPT Store for more info.  You won't be disappointed!  I know I'm not... I'm starting to change my own opinion about writing!!!


  1. Wow, great minds think alike! I just commented on a new post Susan wrote on a new unit she introduced. We use Lucy too...but I, just like you, veered away from the books after the narrative unit. I feel your writing pain!!

    Venturing out on my own these next few weeks testing the waters of writing how-to's. I have a post for this weekend about our first week of writing them (so far, so good)!

    Loving the "pimp out" response! HA! Glad your writing lesson went well. We are becoming great writing teachers...one step at a time!

    For the Love of First Grade

  2. I totally agree! We just started how-to's and all about books and I am already trying to enhance the curriculum. I love teaching writing, but I see the gaps in some of the Lucy units. These look like great resources to try. Thanks for sharing!

    Compassionate Teacher

  3. Ohmigoodness, Colleen you are phenomenal. Thank you so so so so much for this sweet post. Your kids answers to their Would You Rather? questions are hilarious!!!! I really am so glad that you enjoy using them - it means a lot to me :)


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