Keenan’s Heartbeat

Student Writing Sample: Kindergarten - Report or Informational Writing

The Task

Students in the exploration center were asked to write what they learned about the human body that included graphical writing prompts in the upper-right and lower-left corners of the page: a picture of a girl using a stethoscope to listen to a boy's heart beat and a picture showing an x-ray of a boy's bones.

What the work shows

This piece is a good example of a kindergarten student who was able to write a report about the human body. The writer names parts of the body and states a fact about each without adding any unnecessary information.

Strengths of this student's writing

  • The personal nature of the title “KEENANS HB” immediately engages the reader.
  • The student names three parts of his body followed by one detail about each body part (“My HAert PUMPS MY BlUD”).
  • The writing includes no extraneous information.
  • The student’s description of the function of his heart and bones is straightforward and accurate. The comparison of his brain to a computer is vividly conveys his understanding of the information gathered.
  • Revision is evident where the student twice overwrites “YOUR” with “MY” to achieve a consistently first-person point of view.
  • The student frequently leaves space between words and uses recognizable letter formations. The work illustrates that he understands print concepts (left to right, top to bottom). Words are represented phonetically using appropriate initial and final consonants and vowels. (“LiAK”/like “HAert”/heart, and “BlUD”/blood. Some sight words are spelled correctly (“my” and “is”), as are a number of words related to the topic studied. The student uses a period after each sentence.

Teachers will

  • Establish a daily one-hour Writer’s Workshop.
  • Create a classroom environment that supports Writer’s Workshop.
  • Provide opportunities for responding to literature within the Writer’s Workshop.
  • Establish a 30- minute daily Language Skills Block.
  • Develop mini-lessons for Writer’s Workshop that focus on incorporating standard Language Use and Conventions.
  • Plan and implement units of study in a variety of genres throughout the year.
  • Develop mini-lessons on research skills, such as using reference materials, taking notes, and recording information.
  • Create an on-going class editing checklist for spelling, conventions, grammar, and punctuation with the students. Add to this chart as new skills are taught throughout the year.