In my neck of the woods we have something called Texas Toast and this is my inspiration for our non fiction writing. I remember as a kid making cinnamon toast was something that I could do without help and to make toast you need just a few ingredients. Once I started talking about toast, almost everybody could relate to either making it or eating it so they were hooked. I explained that I was going to teach them how to make Texas Toast. As I walked through the writing demonstration, I kept my illustrations, wording and steps to a minimum so that we all could focus on the steps of writing a how to. After I finished the children were able to follow my How To Anchor Chart and make Texas Toast. It was pretty simple to create this learning experience just a toaster, bread, butter and cinnamon. When we were closing our writer's workshop, it was interesting to hear how many different things the class could come up with after just experiencing this simple lesson. I noticed that they were super motivated to write and share their writing plans for the next day. I could hear them talking about how to this and that and I could hear some pretty elaborate writing plans. The anchor chart helped me with a much needed visual and a reminder to keep it simple and for my children not to get lost in the wording.
I guess the only problem now is that the class wants to know if they can write a How To Make Texas Chili...will we make it? Hmmmm, sneaky just sneaky!