06 Writers talk and listen to get information.

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Writers talk and listen to get information.

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Talking and listening—natural, everyday activities for most young children—are your students’ primary modes of communicating and discovering information. Gradually, they learn that the things they talk about can also be written down and then read by themselves and others. Acquiring this sense of themselves as writers and readers is an important discovery for many young learners in kindergarten.

About the Picture The humorous picture shows two different activities related to talking and listening. At one level, a fish is “talking” while another fish and Spot seem to be listening (with Spot taking notes). In the meantime, three children are involved in a conversation about the fish and their hidden ears.

Major Concepts

  • Talking and listening are the first natural modes of communicating and learning.
  • Writers often benefit by talking about their subjects and writing plans before they begin their first drafts.
  • Having a conference, basically talking and listening, is a useful tool for writers.

Daily Lesson Planning

Day 1

  1. Share "Writers talk and listen to get information" with the children. Following this, do a shared writing about the “behavior” of the two fish and Spot. When appropriate, invite children to write the initial sound of a word and any other parts they know.
  2. Talk about things students hear in your classroom based on your daily routine. Implement “Writers talk and listen to get information” (BB 6) as a response activity.

Days 2-6

Choose from the following activities:

  • Implement “Writers listen for letter sounds” (BB 7).
  • Share ideas about times for talking and listening in your classroom. In particular, demonstrate and/or make a poster of the following listening tips:

✔ Be quiet and look at the person who is speaking.
✔ Listen for important words.
✔ Ask questions if you don’t understand something.

  • Provide time for children to give oral reports about current news from their lives. At one time, ask if anyone has good news to share; at another time, ask for other kinds of news. (If the children know they will have time to share their news, they will usually save it for that special time.) Consider using “Daily News” graphic organizer (WS 34) for an interactive writing, or have children use "My News" as a visual support when they report their news.
  • After you have read a story aloud, read it a second time and have children listen for the main ideas that happen at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the story. Implement "First . . . , Then . . . , and Finally . . . " as a response to the story.
  • Refer to the illustration and talk about the purpose of speech balloons. Implement "Balloon Talk" or "I Talk" as a practice activity.

Concluding Days

  • Place children in small groups to respond to a book they have enjoyed or something they have written this week. Challenge them to take turns and follow the listening tips you have established for the classroom.
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Background Information on
Talking, Listening, and Writing

Speaking Time

We know that children’s reading and writing development grows out of oral language competency and also affects it. Because
of this, teachers should be sure that, along with daily reading and writing activities, children have opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations, share their interests, ask questions, recite choral readings (see below), and participate in all sorts of language play—poems, songs, finger plays, and so on.

Conferences

One of the most important things teachers can do for emerging writers is to hold conferences with them as often as possible. A conference can be done informally while walking around the classroom or more formally during a scheduled time. It is most important that the teacher listen to the child’s ideas, answer questions, guide the writer to find ways to generate words, and respond with encouragement. Children need to know that, beyond their performance as writers, they are very important.

Shared Writing (Taking Dictation)

Shared writing can be viewed as an oral/written language experience for one child or for a group of children with the teacher as the scribe. Shared writing usually includes the children’s oral input, with the teacher or another adult writing down their words. It gives children an opportunity to express themselves, and it offers the teacher an opportunity to comment on important facts about the conventions of print. Teachers may talk about letter-sound relationships, capital and small letters, punctuation, spaces between words, beginning at the left, and so on. (The Language-Experience Approach is a form of shared writing.) Note: Save some of the shared writings and revisit them at another time to make simple changes or additions.

Interactive Writing

Interactive writing is an extension of shared writing. The two activities are similar, except that interactive writing involves the teacher and children writing together. The message is composed by the group, including the teacher, and written down word by word. The teacher begins the writing and then offers the marker to a child. The child may write initial sounds of words, high-frequency words, or phonetic spellings of words, for which the teacher and other children exaggerate the sounds to help the writer hear them. Sometimes the teacher fills in the letters the child doesn’t know or can’t hear. For example, if a child writes lik for like, the teacher guides him or her to add the final e. (This procedure can also be used with a teacher and an individual child.)


 

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Choral Reading

Choral reading is an engaging oral language activity. Begin by copying a poem or nursery rhyme on a chart. Then divide the copy into parts, marking each part with a number. Assign these numbers to groups of children. Read the whole poem through as you would a big book, and then ask the children to read their parts along with you.

I Had a Cat

1:      I had a cat and the cat pleased me,

I fed my cat by yonder tree;
Cat goes, “Fiddle-i-fee.”

2:      I had a hen and the hen pleased me,

I fed my hen by yonder tree;
Hen goes, “Chimmy-chuck, chimmy-chuck,”

1:      Cat goes, “Fiddle-i-fee.”

3:      I had a duck and the duck pleased me,

I fed my duck by yonder tree;
Duck goes, “Quack, quack,”

2:      Hen goes, “Chimmy-chuck, chimmy-chuck,”

1:      Cat goes, “Fiddle-i-fee.”

4:      I had a goose and the goose pleased me,

I fed my goose by yonder tree;
Goose goes, “Swishy, swashy,”

3:      Duck goes, “Quack, quack,”

2:      Hen goes, “Chimmy-chuck, chimmy-chuck,”

1:      Cat goes, “Fiddle-i-fee.”

All:    I had a dog and the dog pleased me,

I fed my dog by yonder tree;
Dog goes, “Bow-wow, bow-wow,”

4:      Goose goes, “Swishy, swashy,”

3:      Duck goes, “Quack, quack,”

2:      Hen goes, “Chimmy-chuck, chimmy-chuck,”

1:      Cat goes, “Fiddle-i-fee.”

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

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Level:
English Language Arts: