A while back I ran across some blog posts mentioning something called The Magical Product Swap. Swapping products? I was immediately intrigued! I discovered it was hosted by the sweet Mrs. Stanford over at her blog, Mrs. Stanford’s Class.
I signed up and was assigned to Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory (who I am sure you must know from her awesome Good Morning Work packets!). I decided to review her WOW vs. Blah sentences packet which is her top seller!
I have a very diverse group of writers this year (as I do every year). I have students who can write perfect three page stories with no spelling mistakes and students who struggle to put even the beginning sounds of a word on a page. I have noticed this year’s group really fell into the “awesome” trap. You know what I mean right? How every sentence they want to write says “It was so awesome. It was really so so so so so so awesome.” I swear, everything they write has to have the word awesome in there as well as at least five or six so’s. I often change popular picture books into boring stories where every other word is awesome or so so so just to make the point of how B-O-R-I-N-G that is! This is why I knew Kelley’s WOW vs. Blah sentence packet would be perfect for my class!
Kelley’s packet begins with a visual of how to teach your students a visual of what a WOW sentence is and what a Blah sentence is. How cute is she?! My kids LOVED the gestures! I got really crazy and animated with it while explaining it to the students. We had a great time!
Kelley’s packet includes multiple activities to practice writing and recognizing WOW and Blah sentences. We did the sentence sort first. After explaining the difference between a WOW and Blah sentence and introducing the gestures students had to read sentences and determine if it they were WOW or Blah. They had a lot of fun with this activity since the WOW sentences were really fun and silly.
Each day we did one of the shared writing templates together. These pages give three blah sentences and the students have to turn the blah sentence into a WOW one. We did many together as an example and then I let the students do them on their own.
I noticed that pretty quickly ALL of my students were writing more detailed sentences. My students that struggle with writing did not include as many adjectives in their writing as other students BUT they were adding a lot more details and forming longer sentences than they were before which was huge for them! Some of my students really took off with the WOW sentence concept! It was great fun to read their sentences!
Included in the packet is a center activity where students hunt down the WOW words in sentences, write their own sentence and illustrate it. We did this activity in cooperative groups. I gave each group a different sheet. We did this a couple of different times so each time I just gave each group a different sheet than they had previously.
At the end of the week, I gave each student a different a Blah sentence and they had to rewrite it as a WOW sentence. I took each student’s picture making a Wow face and added it to their sentence. I will hang these up in the hallway. The kiddos LOVED having their picture taken and their sentences were awesome! They turned out so cute!
Everything in the packet was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to use these activities earlier in the year next year so we can refer to Wow and Blah sentences all the time. Maybe this will save me some of the “it is so so so so awesome” lectures. 😉
If you need some fun ideas to get your class to write more detailed sentences, be sure to snatch this up! And be sure to visit The Teacher Idea Factory and tell Kelley that First Grade Brain sent you over!