Of course, I never follow the plans exactly, so you will not find these topics in the unit, but their directions give me a plan that I can use with my own topics. Here are a couple examples.
This was the first " how-to" we did. I did a guided drawing activity, then the kids drew a lion. and wrote the steps.
The next day I was sick, so I asked my assistant to use the " how-to" plan and just think of something to write about. Since we had apples for a snack, she had them to write "How to Eat an Apple."
Of course, every child's paper does not look like this. Many are still learning about capitals, spaces and all the mechanics of writing. But the format makes it easier for the children, and I am sending a "How-to" writing assignment for homework next week.
The kids seem to enjoy it, too -- one little boy came in this week asking, "Can we do that writing like we did yesterday?" That is what makes it worth every penny!! If it inspires my students to want to write, then I know I am on the right track.