Pattern writing is such an important concept in kindergarten. I had to learn to love pattern writing. I have always known that it has such great benefits for students, however, I always preferred narrative or informational writing because it allowed me to learn even more about my students.
It took me a while to find a way to love pattern writing. I am proud to say that I have found that way now!
Your first writing unit should not be pattern writing. Students need time to explore how to be illustrators and authors before they begin pattern writing. They need time to learn some sight words, learn some basic print concepts, and also understand enough about letter sounds.
Once students have those big ideas down, they are ready for pattern writing. Pattern writing is the time where my students gain immense amounts of confidence and really take off as writers.
My favorite activity to complete with my students is a group table writing exercise. First, we model the pattern as a class. We practice stretching out words and putting down the sounds we hear in a whole group setting. The pattern is exposed to the students and they can understand how the pattern works.
Next, students go to a table with a group to work. Yes, I let my kids write on the table. They always go nuts the first time we do this because it feels like it should be breaking all of the rules. Quick tip: Baby wipes work wonders and will quickly take off any dry erase marker from the table – the kids can clean up the writing mess after!
While students are in groups, they are taking turns writing a sentence to fit the pattern. We were practicing the pattern “I like”. Each individual student shares their sentence to the group. As a group, they stretch out the word and break the sounds apart. This is great for students who are struggling with phoneme segmenting because their peers can help them with this step. The student then writes the sentence. The team will check for spaces and punctuation and then they pass it on to the next team member.
This activity is so engaging for students and hones in on so many different, yet very important, skills that are practiced during pattern writing. Pattern writing does not require as much planning as information or narrative writing so it really is a great time to work on sentence structure and other foundational writing skills.
My students will show me what they learned the next day by completing a pattern writing sheet.
Click below for a free pattern writing sheet.