Give me a goal…


How we experience something defines how we will remember it. We can inspire information writing if we help young learners set goals to define their experiences. Self-regulated learners set goals, for reading, writing, and also for what the environment can teach them.  If the goal is to have fun at the beach then they go to the beach with sand pails and shovels.  If the goal is to learn something about the beach they bring along a camera, journal, or paper to take notes about what is seen and heard.  What is wonderful is when both things happen, fun and learning experiences are the most memorable. It will not destroy the wonderful memories of surf and sand if after leaving the beach someone suggests reading a book about the sand castles they had so much fun building in order to learn how it is even possible!

There is much of chatter about the shift to information reading and writing, but not enough excitement. The CCSS require a balance of literature and informational texts for young readers and writers culminating in a third grade literacy test that might appear to be a bit overwhelming if preparation is not begun as early as preschool. Writing from sources is nothing new, being required to inform is!  When the source is memories stored in the brain, some of us come up empty, when the source is a book or a personal binder of notes and pictures, we are all on the same page. If a student describes his/her summer vacation s/he might be asked if while at the dude ranch did s/he learn anything about horses, or was it just fun? Writing for information inspires young learners to look for information while they are having fun, and teachers can encourage young learners to do both.



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