Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Exploring Text Features in List Writing

A shopping we will go... A shopping we will go...

Wait! We have to make our shopping list first! This week, I let Logan make his own grocery list. We started with flyers from the newspaper. I had picked out some healthy foods (and a few treats) for him to choose from for his grocery list.

We practiced using scissors to cut out the pictures. (When I say, "use scissors", I mean that he snipped the edges of the page and then we ripped the picture out.)
Then we glued them onto a long piece of paper.

The trick here was teaching him that this was going to look a little different than a story or a collage. I showed him my grocery list. I explained that a list looks different than a story, a collage, or a letter. As he  put the glue on the pictures, we would talk about where to place each picture (below the previous picture) in order to create a list.
We put about 5 items on his list and then we took it to the grocery store and he got to purchase those items.
My goals were to have him "write" for an authentic purpose and to be exposed to a new text feature.

Extending the Writing Activity:
  • Have your child try to write the names of the foods next to or under the picture. Use simple prompts like, "Let's write the word hotdogs. Say the word slowly. What letter would you expect to see at the beginning of the word hotdog." - You could also clap the parts of the word, work on specific letters that you know the child can control, or work on whatever skill your child needs. This keeps the activity pretty open ended.
  • Let your child draw the pictures on the list instead of cutting out pictures. Let him label if that is appropriate for him.
  • Writing a list is an important skill for early readers. Often we spend time having first graders write stories or paragaraphs. It's important to expose them to a variety of texts in both reading and writing.
  • Create a shopping book similar to this one. Use words and pictures that relate to your child's interests and abilities.
  • Create a Grocery Store at Home- allow your child to write signs for the store- either by drawing pictures or writing words.

Extending the Theme:
  • Practice math skills by shopping at your home grocery store. We had these mardi gras coins and a laptop cash register.
  • Sort cans and lids by size or color. Then match the lids and the cans.
  • Match coupons to actual products.
  • Sort plastic (or real) food by color or size.
  • Add plastic food containers to playdough basket. Show your child how he can make prints out of food containers in the playdough.
(Some of these ideas came from our curriculum from Hubbardscupboard.org- great FREE website!)

I am linking this up to:


  1. What fun! I will definitely have to let Sammy be involved in the grocery shopping in the future! I love your check out register!

  2. Love these ideas, Jackie! It's so important for kids to experience a range of real world writing tasks, and lists are something we all do. I love the way you kept it real by letting him purchase the items on his list.

  3. I love this idea and all the go alongs that you did with it.

  4. We are just starting our grocery shopping theme from hubbards cupboard this week. Don't you love that site?! Cute ideas by the way!

  5. I didn't focus on the grandmother and fading if I had I would have cried too.

    I love your list of lists for the grocery store. JDaniel just dictates what he thinks we need to me.

  6. I love the picture idea for little ones.

    Having a child sound out, clap syllables, and write words on the list with help is so great to get them to become good writers and spellers.

    You share amazing ideas for parents. I'm glad I found your blog!

  7. All great ideas! I also love Hubbard's Cupboard.

    I have been trying the idea you gave about using the highlighter and then having her draw over it. It has been wildly successful with my little girl :)

    Thanks so much for linking up!