Tuesday 4 November 2014

Writing Genres: Recipes in Senior Classes

I hope everyone had a relaxing break. It's hard to believe we are on the run up to Christmas already!

Before the midterm, I was writing recipes with my class. Despite having taught recipe writing to them last year (in 4th Class), I found myself having to do a lot of resource hunting online to find some new (and
more challenging) examples to use with them this year. Unfortunately, I found myself getting slightly frustrated at the lack of free ideas and samples to show children when it came to this genre. I eventually built up a bank of good resources myself (putting in a huge amount of time and effort) and my lessons went very well. Then I thought, why not save other teachers some time and share these ideas and resources all together, in one place? Therefore, this week, I have written a post containing all the ideas, samples and templates you could ever require to teach recipe writing to your class. I hope you find them useful!

Step 1:
Begin by asking the children to tell you what a recipe is, who uses them and what makes the format of a recipe different to the format of a story. Brainstorm a few things on the board.

Step 2: (Optional)
Make a simple recipe with them in class. This gives them a purpose for their reading and written work. Get them to work in groups or make the recipe as a class (depending on resources/class size). Discuss any difficult words before they begin. Pick a simple recipe which will be easy for them to write about later. Here are some recipes you can try:

1. This year I used my own recipe to make Rocky Road.

2. There are some great recipes which require only a microwave on Number 2 Pencil's website. Brownie in a Cup was the one I used with my class last year.
3. If you don't have a microwave in your school, you could always make something like Eton Mess
The Food Network

4. If you are looking for something more complicated or have an oven/more advanced cooking equipment, some of Nigella Lawson's recipes are quite straightforward.
Step 3:
It is now time for them to learn more about the genre of recipe writing by examining a collection of different recipes (or simply using the recipe they followed the previous day) to come up with a list of features they must include in their writing. Some of the websites I have linked to above have some very good recipe samples you could use. It is very important that you choose recipe samples with a similar style to what you want them to create i.e. if you want them to use numbers, don't show them recipes using paragraphs, etc.

You have two activity options once you have chosen your sample recipes: 
  1. You can pair them up and have them highlight various characteristics of a recipe on their own individual copies of the recipes.
  2. You can have the sample recipe on the board and go through it with the class, highlighting key features as you discuss them.
Step 4: 
Create with the children, a class checklist of all of the features they have identified and write the list in their copies. Get them to put a box at the end of each point, to tick once they have finished their first draft.
Our checklist included:
  • Headings: Ingredients and method
  • Measurements of ingredients
  • Numbers/steps
  • Short sentences
  • Imperatives (You can also call these 'ordering words' if you have a younger class and discuss examples of these)
  • Baking/cooking vocabulary (Make a list of these on another board using their ideas and some extra words of your own)

Step 5:
The children can now begin writing their recipes.
Twinkl.co.uk have a useful template for recipe writing which you can download here.
You have three choices when it comes to topics:
  1. The children can write a new version of the recipe they created the previous day in class. 
  2. The children can create their own original recipe.
  3. They can create an imaginary 'Witch's Potion' (this website has a nice template they can use).
At this point, they have their checklist to work from in their copies, a sample recipe to guide them either on the IWB or as a handout, and a list of baking terminology available for them to use. 

Step 6:
Once the first draft is complete, the children can start self assessing and editing their work:
  • First, get the children to read over their recipe and check off items on their checklist.
  • Then, have them spend 5 minutes checking over their work and correcting capital letters. 
  • Next, have them check for punctuation and spend a couple of minutes correcting this in their work. 
  • Finally get them to check that they used some variety in their imperatives and change words that occur more than once.
Step 7: 
The children can now write a second draft including these changes.

Step 8:
Correct the children's second draft. When it is corrected, they can write their final draft using their best handwriting.

Keep in mind that this post covers a couple of writing lessons and the steps weren't all completed in one day. Let me know if you find these tips helpful and if you would like to see more posts on different writing topics in the future!

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