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Reintroduce: How-To Text

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Lesson Type: Reintroduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: Given a familiar activity, students will be able to compose a how-to text for that activity.

Materials: Board or chart paper, How-To Organizer (print here), sentence strips

What to Do


Make a large version of the How-To Organizer on the board or chart paper.


1. Review the purpose of a how-to text and its characteristics.

Who can remember the purpose of a how-to text? Yes, we write a how-to text to teach how to do something. We also learned that a how-to text lists the materials needed, shows the steps, provides a clear sequence, and includes details. Who remembers some sequence words that we learned? Yes, first, next, then, and last are examples.

2. Explain the lesson.

How many of you brush your teeth at least once a day? Great! I think that we all know something about this topic. Today we will write a how-to text together to teach how to brush teeth.

3. Explain how the text will be planned.

We will use sentence strips and a worksheet to help us draft our how-to text.


4. Ask students questions and record each answer on a sentence strip.

The first section is the topic. What is our topic? What materials will we need? Let’s think about the steps for brushing teeth.

Record the students’ ideas on the sentence strips.

Which step should come first, second, third?

5. Arrange the sentence strips in sequential order and complete the large version of the How-To Organizer.

What sequence word can we use for this step? (Repeat for each step.)

What detail word can we add to this step to make it more clear? (Repeat for each step.)

6. Summarize the lesson and direct students to form pairs to discuss things they would like to make how-to texts about.

Today we created a group how-to text. You will use this text as an example when you create your own how-to text. Take a few minutes to talk to a partner about a topic that you would like to write about.

7. Ask students to share their topic ideas and record their responses on the board or chart paper.

These are some great topics. Keep these in mind when you have to write your own how-to text.


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to think about writing how-to texts for different audiences.

For Struggling Students:

These students may have difficulty coming up with the right steps. In this case, you may try preparing the steps on sentence strips in advance and asking the students to help you put them in order.

For ELL Students:

Provide these students with explicit instruction about the sequence words and ordinal numbers (first, second, and so on). You could ask them to act out the steps.

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