First Grade

Writing How To's For an Audience

Creative Communicator
Guy With Key


Seesaw is a web-based and application platform where students can post pictures from the classroom, annotate, speak their mind, and create electronic portfolios that connect school and home. Parents are able to see student work as soon as it is posted.

In this activity, students will create a “How To” piece of writing and read it to their audience on SeeSaw.

Students will:

  • Be able to draw a picture/diagram and write at least three steps to represent their picture/diagram.
  • Be able to read their work to their audience on SeeSaw.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Journal: A journal is a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; like a diary

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Before the lesson, teachers must set up SeeSaw accounts for their classes and invite parents to join.
  • Please view the TEACHER video on using SeeSaw in the classroom. 

  • Students should also know the basic features of SeeSaw.

  • Here is a student video on how to use SeeSaw. 

  • The SeeSaw app needs to be downloaded on student devices or bookmarked on computers.

  • Students should also know the basic features of SeeSaw.

  • Teachers will need Journal Papers or “how-to paper templates”  available to students. There are numerous templates on Pinterest. 

    • What to include in the how-to paper:

      • Student Name

      • First, 

      • Then, 

      • Next, 

      • Last   

NoteSeeSaw has many other tutorials on their website and Help Center

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher begins by asking students “Who reads your writing?” Student answers will include people in the classroom and also their family at home if journals go home.

  2. The teacher then asks, “what types of writing do we write?” Students should answer journal writing, stories, nonfiction, etc…

  3. The teacher explains that today when students work on writing, they are going to write to teach somebody something, post their writing to SeeSaw and read it aloud for their audience.

  4. Teacher and students discuss what is important to remember when giving someone directions. Students may say:

    • Clear directions.

    • Don’t miss steps.

    • Create a picture for the directions.

  5. Next, students and teacher talk about reading a story or directions out loud to someone and how to help their reader understand their story. Students may say:

    • Read clearly.

    • Include a picture.

  6. Point to the words. Students create their how-to writing on journal paper and color a picture to match. When finished, the students will upload their writing to SeeSaw.

  7. In SeeSaw students press the “+” sign, then select the camera icon to take a photo of their writing.

  8. Next, students tap the microphone and record themselves reading their writing aloud.

  9. When finished, students select the green check to add it to their journal.

Here is a photo of the steps to add and explain a photo in SeeSaw:

SeeSaw Instructions

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Teachers can see what students have posted to their journal from the Teacher side of SeeSaw. They are able to leave feedback for students and intervene with any student who did not read their story or added more detail then they wrote about. The teacher can also talk about how their writing might help someone to continue the discussion about audience.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

  • Students take more care when they know someone will be reading and reacting to their writing. Having a purpose to write helps motivate students to try hard on their work. Seesaw provides a platform for students to have a larger audience than the classroom walls.
    With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
    With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

This task card was created by Lacey Khon, KRESA, November 2018. Updated November 2023.