Monday, 2 January 2017

Examining the Structure of Procedural Writing

Procedural Writing provides a reader with directions or instructions on “how to” do something.  Some examples of procedural writing include:  recipes, giving rules for games,  sports or situations, giving directions to go to a location, conducting experiments, taking care of something, constructing something, etc.

Procedural Writing:

Gives a clear reason for the procedure.

Provides a list of materials required to conduct the procedure.

Addresses any safety precautions or rules that need to be followed.

Includes all necessary steps for the procedure.  Steps should be in proper order (using transition words like “first”, “next”, “then”, “finally”......).

Is easy to follow and implement.  Directions should be clear.  There should be no confusion.

Examining the Structure of Procedural Writing

Learning Goal:  Teaching students to explore the features of a procedural text. 

Materials NeededHave students bring in a variety of procedural texts.  Examples include:  recipes, manuals, instructions for games, directions from an online site (for example, getting from a student’s house to school), craft assembly manuals, toy assembly manuals, and so on. 

Brainstorming Sessions: Students are encouraged to work in groups to complete this activity.  Place several different procedural manuals on each table.  Have groups of students explore the text features of a procedural manual, recipe or instructional guide.  Students are encouraged to record their findings on chart paper.  Call all students together to gather all ideas.  Create a large anchor chart to assist students (see sample anchor chart to follow).  

When ready, begin scaffolding "how to" write a procedural text.  Give ample opportunities for students to talk about "how to do things" before they write them down.  Students also love task cards with "how to" prompts.  Remember everything they do during their daily routine is a "how to activity". Think of things like turning on a computer monitor, playing a sport, or riding a bus.  

For the full unit on Procedural Writing, click on the link below:

Procedural Writing


  1. Hi Sandra!
    I love your idea of having students bring in their own manuals from home. Having real examples of procedural writing will help them stay engaged. Your anchor chart is awesome too! Thanks!