Thanks to Mark Muldoon and Cindy Armstrong for their assistance in putting this together this is a great 90 minute lesson about unpacking a seed. Unpacking a seed essentially means using an image or an object to inspire your students to delve really deep into the concepts related to that as a group and produce a great piece of writing based on the ideas which come from that. You can directly download the full PowerPoint lesson plan here or simply use the slideshare below. Enjoy
- Introduce to the children that you are taking writing in a new direction and that you are going to allow them to choose what they are going to write.
- Explain to them that there will be some guidelines (up to you to create) and set accordingly.
- Explain that they will be undergoing a process called ‘Unpacking a Seed’ and hand out an enlarged copy of the Unpacking a Seed Template (Below). Also use Butcher’s paper to model if this is your first time doing this.
- Pull up an image onto your IWB (interactive whiteboard) / show it to the children if you do not have one. (Current issues really resonate with the children, such as flooding, animal cruelty, fires, bank fees, etc).
- Discuss the image and see if any children have anything that they can add.
- Now refer children to template and ask them to write down everything that they can see (Absolutely EVERYTHING).
- Then ask them to write down what they think about the photo.
- Now ask them how they feel about the photo and to record all the emotions that this picture stirs up inside them.
- Next, ask them to write down anything that they are currently wondering about the photo.
- Now ask the children to write down big questions that relate to the issue (big questions are those that sit outside the box and don’t have a clear answer. It would need to be researched).
- Finally, ask the children to write down text types (persuasive, letter, poster, narrative, etc) that they could use as a writer to make a difference and tell people about this issue.
- In the very first session, I would model each stage with the children and discuss after they had filled in their own template. Once the children get quite good at this process, I would only stop at the end of filling in boxes 1-4 and then discuss big questions and what we could do a writers (as a whole group).