Shelly Lyon
Apple     This is Shelly 'Klingensmith' Glennon. Shelly teaches fourth grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. Leslie volunteered in Shelly's first grade classroom for 14 years.

All of this exposure to the first-grade classroom has had a lasting effect on Leslie’s books, not just providing a setting but also making the books very curriculum friendly. Albert’s Field Trip was a direct result of a class field trip. Ms. Klingensmith (Shelly) can be seen (in her Pleasant Valley/rabbit persona) working with the first-graders in Albert’s Birthday, which was introduced in Fall, 1999. Shelly created these materials and used them in her classroom with great success.

Mimed Directions

By Shelly Lyon

Writing directions is a part of writing for fourth graders no matter what standards are set in any state in the Union. Boys and girls just need to know how to write specific, sequential, and detailed directions for people to understand what they are saying. This is how I do it in my class. It makes the exercise a fun one and blends laughter with good basic learning.

Children work in teams. Together they write the directions to some simple task, say making a peanut butter sandwich. They must write every step that is involved in the task sequentially, and in detail. I suggest VERY careful proofreading. The test will be when they are performing these directions in mime in front of the class. The mime may ONLY do what is written in the directions.

Once the children have written the directions and checked to make sure that every single move is written clearly, the stage is set. No props may be used. The only sound is that of the reader. One child of the partnership is given the job of the reader, the other the mime. As the reader slowly reads the directions, the mime moves to demonstrate. If an action is not described accurately, the pair may retire to proofread and try again. At the next performance the partnership must trade places. In other words, the first reader becomes the second mime, and the first mime reads the revision.

The class gets such a kick out of these performances. The giggles are many! I've included the directions to Making Rock Candy to use as an example to practice with. Enjoy the joy of directions writing with loads of laughter!