Constructing a Creative Classroom Community

Jessica M. Young, Second Grade, Davidson Elementary School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


The unit is designed to guide students through the steps of the writing process while enhancing classroom culture.  Each lesson, unless otherwise noted, will follow the same general format and last for 45 minutes to an hour.  First, students will be introduced to the learning objective through a 10-20-minute mini-lesson.  A mentor text that demonstrates the objective will be read to the whole class.  Students will be asked to “think, pair, share” and “turn to a partner” throughout the reading.  After sharing with a partner, two to three students will be cold called.  To promote good listening skills, these students must share what their partner told them using the sentence frame “My partner, [partner’s name], thinks ___________ because __________.”  At the close of the mini-lesson, students will “think, pair, share” about how they can use the learning objective to improve their own writing.  Then students will engage in at least 20 minutes of independent writing followed by 15 minutes of peer conferring.  During independent writing time, the teacher will confer with students.  At the close of the lesson, students will share a “glow”, something they are proud of, and “grow”, an opportunity for growth, with a partner.  Partner work and shared experiences can foster personal connections and empathy between classmates while teaching essential writing skills.