Professional Development

October 23, 2015

Purposeful Crafts in the Classroom

Art in the classroom isn’t always a common practice. Sometimes you just flat out don’t have enough instructional time to squeeze in crafts or art.  Let me be real honest ,though–I love writing crafts in the classroom! Not only would kids get excited about them, but I would then have something to hang in the hallway.

But let me be clear, it’s so important that they are more than cute. More than just a display for people to ooo and ahhh over. Who has time for something meaningless after all? I never did! So when we crafted, I wanted there to be a purpose.

Using Crafts as Purposeful Writing Assessments is a unique spin! I love how this teacher uses these crafts!
Several years ago we began having purposeful crafts that also served as writing assessments.  At the end of each 6 week grading period we would work together to create a rubric for what we had learned, so far, that good writing needed.  It started out simple, but then became more complicated as the year went on.

The students would work on a piece of writing and we would then sit down together and go over the rubric we created as a class.  They would check their writing for those writing elements they should have, and when they were ready, they would meet with me for a conference and they would “earn” pieces of their craft.

This was, by far, one of the most powerful things I ever did during writer’s workshop.  Why? Because not only did they have complete ownership of it all, but they also had a great visual of their writing.  If their craft was missing a part and looked a little silly, or it was hard to tell what it should be, they learned that their writing was also hard to read or looked a little silly. I did my best to make this as light-hearted as possible.  The best part was when the NEXT writing creativity time would come and we could celebrate their growth and look back together!

In my classroom we would do a writing craft assessment at least once a six weeks, but sometimes every month!

A scarecrow for September,

Scarecrow Writing Craft with a Purpose

Scarecrow Writing Craft with a Purpose

A turkey for November,

Turkey Writing Craft with a Purpose

A reindeer for December
Reindeer craft that is perfect for writing assessing! I love how this teacher uses purposeful crafts in her classroom!

A gingerbread man for December or January

Gingerbread Writing Craft that is purposeful! It

Gingerbread Writing Craft that is purposeful! It

A snowman for January

Snowman craft that is perfect for snowman writing! It also doubles as a writing assessment! Check out how this teacher has purposeful crafts!

A robot for February

Valentine's Writing activity that is SURE to hook your students! It doubles as a writing assessment as students earn each piece of their robot!

Valentine's Writing activity that is SURE to hook your students! It doubles as a writing assessment as students earn each piece of their robot!

chick for March or AprilChick Writing Craftivity that is perfect for spring writing! This writing craft doubles as a writing assessment, too!

A pineapple for MayEnd of year pineapple writing craft that is a unique twist on writing assessments!

How do you use writing crafts in the classroom? If you don’t ever use them, I’d love to hear why not.  In my last school, we did not have an art teacher so my administration approved of us doing things like this every now and then.

Using Crafts as Purposeful Writing Assessments is a unique spin! I love how this teacher uses writing to integrate these crafts. Can't wait to try out September's craft! #firstgrade #kindergarten

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Happy Teaching,


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Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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4 Responses

  1. Amanda I soooooooo agree with you about cute projects, but not really meaningful. Nobody has time for that! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that turkey activity. Love cuteness with a purpose. I pray all is well with you and your beautiful family.

    1. I miss you, sweet friend!!! There were times I would do something that didn’t have as much purpose, but then the purpose because to teach the art TEKS since we didn’t have an art teacher. I always tried to have some hidden meaning in there even if the kids didn’t realize it! 😉

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