“Reading and writing go hand-in-hand,” is a phrase my students hear me constantly saying. “Good writers are usually avid readers,” is another of my favorite phrases. In this article, we'll discuss how to explore the connection between reading and writing with elementary students!
Show Students the Connection Between Reading and Writing
My Snowman Story Map Graphic Organizer is a great way to show students the connection between reading and writing. I begin by reading a variety of snowman or winter-inspired books. Here are a few of my favorite snowman books:
The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
Snowman Magic by Katherine Tegen and Brandon Dorman
Snowman’s Story by Will Hillenbrand
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (a wordless picture book)
Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner (there are several other snowmen books in this series)
After reading each book, we use our Snowman Story Map Graphic Organizer to record the most important events at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then it’s time for the students to use the Snowman Story Map Graphic Organizer to organize their ideas for a snowman-inspired story of their own. I remind my students that a good story should have an interesting lead, engaging events, and an extended story ending.
Three Elements of a Good Story
1. An interesting lead might begin with: action, dialogue, a question, thoughts, and feelings, or sound words.
2. Engaging events keep the reader engaged, or interested, in the story and should include: dialogue, good descriptions (adjectives & adverbs), sound words, and action.
3. An extended ending might include: a memory of the main event, the main character’s feelings, the main character’s hopes or wishes, or a conclusion or decision.
When all the stories are completed the students are invited to share their work in small groups. I then ask each group to select one story to share with the entire class.
Download my Snowman Story Map Graphic Organizer and Interesting Lead Tip Sheet to use with your students this winter.