Do you teach pattern book writing in kindergarten? If you don’t already, you need to start! When I began teaching writing pattern books in Kindergarten, I saw my students’ writing confidence SOAR!
What Is Pattern Book Writing?
In our Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop, we teach our students to write a pattern book. Pattern books are books that have a sentence with the same sight word pattern on each page. These books are usually about one topic, and each page features a different part of that topic.
For example, I might write a pattern book about the beach. The first page could say, “I see a shell.” Then the next page might say, “I see a crab.” Each page would begin with that sight word phrase.
Why Do We Teach Kindergarteners To Write Pattern Books?
After all, we want our students to be able to write stories. We teach them how to write stories that have characters, a setting, a problem and a solution. So why would we teach something so simple?
Well, we teach pattern book writing for a few different reasons.
First, it helps our students ‘catch up’ to the basics of writing. Since the sight words stay the same on each page, our students can write without constantly trying to recall words. This helps build students’ confidence as writers as they can experience success with writing sentences – some for the very first time.
Of course, we want our students stretching out words and using phonetic spelling. Since each sentence contains a sight word pattern and one picture word, students can really focus on stretching out that one word. Students who struggled to get down a single letter before, often leave this unit writing the majority of sounds heard.
This unit is also a great time to work on writing mechanics. Once our students become successful with writing patterned sentences, it’s the perfect time to focus on capital letters, punctuation, and finger spaces.
How To Begin Your Pattern Book Writing Unit
Before we begin writing pattern books in Kindergarten, I let my students explore examples. I put out baskets of level A and B emergent readers at each table and just let students explore.
We also read these books as a class. The great thing about using pattern books as mentor texts is that you can read more than one and still have your class’ attention!
After we explore our pattern books, I have my students help me make an anchor chart about what they notice each pattern book has.
Yes, they really came up with these all on their own! Of course, you can prompt and guide students to some of these answers as well. These will be our teaching points throughout the unit.
Kindergarten Writing Workshop: Using Patterns
Then, I have my students explore pattern books again. This time, they write down the patterns that they found in these books.
We create an anchor chart together with all of the sight word patterns we can use. When I model writing during my mini lessons, I will model choosing one of these patterns.
Writing Pattern Books
We brainstorm different topics our pattern books can be about. At the end of our mini lesson each day, my students do a turn and talk and discuss with their partner what they are going to write about.
Then, my kindergarteners get to write! We have an independent writing time each day during our Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop.
During this time, my kindergarteners are writing at their own pace. I confer with students individually and support, reteach, take notes, or push students to try something new.
Usually students write one pattern book a day, but sometimes they write more or less. They can keep their pattern books in their Writer’s Workshop folders until the end of the unit. If they do not finish, they get to start with that book the next day.
When we get to the end of the unit, my students will work on writing their very best pattern book that they will publish. We spend a day writing, a day editing and revising, and a day getting our books ready to publish.
Finally, we and with an Author’s Celebration! My little authors get to present and read their books to the class (this is a great way to work on the Speaking and Language CCSS). Sometimes we even invite other classes or special people to our Author’s Celebrations.
I absolutely love our pattern books writing unit because my students get to feel successful as writers, and I get to see them grow.
Kindergarten Pattern Book Writing Unit
Are you looking for an engaging and effective pattern books writing unit that is completely planned out for you and ready to go? My Kindergarten Pattern Books Unit is unit four in my Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop Curriculum. It has everything you need to teach pattern book writing to your Kindergarten class.
This unit has scripted lesson plans, posters, anchor charts, editing checklists, rubrics, writing paper, and more! You will never have to wonder how to teach writing again.