How-To Books / Procedural Writing Kickoff


This past week, I got to teach one of my very favorite lessons – the kickoff (first lesson) of a procedural writing unit for kindergarten.  In the unit, kids will learn to write three-step how-to books, teaching their readers how to do things like make cookies, ride a bike, skate, etc.

For the lesson, I tell them that we are going to be making fruit salad.  In some years, I even tell the kids about it the day before, and let them pick out which fruit they’d like me to buy at the store.  This year, for lack of time, I just bought two different colors of apples, and bananas, and they were equally excited about that.

I continually ask them while we make the salad:  “What should we do next?” in an attempt to get them thinking about the steps involved in the process.  Then, after we’ve enjoyed the fruit salad (forgot to bring little bowls this year for it…oops), I project how-to paper onto my SmartBoard (if you’ve bought my Kindergarten Writing Curriculum, you can take a screen shot of the printable how-to paper and paste it into the SmartBoard software, like I did).  We use the large version of the paper to craft a how-to piece about how to make fruit salad.  I do most of the work as we write the how-to piece, asking them for their input on what step should go next.  I don’t turn it into a huge lesson; my goal is just to prepare them for the writing lessons to come.

You can’t see it on the board, but there’s also a space for step #3 on the paper.

I love this week’s lesson not only because it involves food (what a good way to get them hooked) but also because it serves as a really solid anchor for the entire unit.  I can refer back to it all the time (“Do you remember when we made the fruit salad?  How did we figure out how to draw the pictures for that how-to piece?”), and I think it’s a memorable experience for the kids.

For a how-to writing unit for Kindergarten, click {here}!


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

Great activity, how to books are the best! They are definitely the way to go to get kids to write. Love it! This week I did how to blow a bubble from Lesson Plan SOS the kids loved it. I think I am going to try this activity next week.

Happy Teaching,


I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

Find It fast


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x