Do you know what popcorn and writing have in common? They both start from a kernel, and with some added ingredients, expand into something delicious! Red Cluster students are working to solidify and demonstrate their grasp of sentence-level writing concepts. Ms. Macedo and Ms. Ellis decided to help their students visualize these ideas by using a Writing (a.k.a. Popcorn) Machine.
Ms. Macedo first introduced the class to Room 201’s Writing Machine, to help create their complex sentences. In this activity, simple sentences such as “Ms. Macedo teaches,” are the popcorn kernels, as they haven’t been expanded yet to create popcorn. Then, the class went over the different details, or ingredients, that they can add to a sentence to make it into a popped piece of popcorn. Students added elements to the popcorn kernels like When (oil), Where and Why (salt), and punctuation to season their sentences, and turned the machine on to start their “writing process.” After cooking in the writing machine, the kernels of sentences then turned into complex-sentence-popcorn!
Students used the metaphor of the popcorn machine to create their own complex sentences, such as turning the sentence “Cole runs” into “Cole runs at Central Park at 5:00 pm.” It was a great multisensory lesson that helped the students concretize the concept of detailed sentences, and they even got to enjoy some yummy popcorn at the end of it.