Search form

Hands-On How-To: Exploring the Art of 'How-to' Writing Through Interactive Kits

Subject: Writing

Grade Level: 6-8th Grade


Students will learn the fundamentals of 'How-to' writing by engaging in hands-on activities through customized 'How-to' kits. They will practice step-by-step instructions, sequencing, and descriptive language to later apply these skills in crafting their own 'How-to' papers.


  • Pre-prepared 'How-to' kits (for each student) with various small activities (e.g., origami, simple science experiments, craft projects).

  • Writing materials (pencils, paper).

  • Large chart paper and markers.

  • Timer.

Interactive Kit Ideas

1. Origami:

  • Colored origami paper.

  • Step-by-step origami instructions.

  • Examples of completed origami creations.

2. Mini Science Lab:

  • Small test tubes or containers.

  • Baking soda, vinegar, and other safe household items.

  • Lab instructions for simple chemical reactions.

  • Safety goggles (for added engagement).

3. Holiday Crafts:

  • Assorted craft materials (colored paper, glue, scissors, beads, etc.).

  • Step-by-step crafting instructions.

  • Examples of finished craft projects.

4. Recipe:

  • Simple recipe cards (e.g., no-bake cookies, fruit kabobs).

  • Pre-measured and packaged ingredients.

  • Basic kitchen tools (with safety considerations).

5. Gardening:

  • Small pots or cups.

  • Soil and seeds.

  • Planting instructions.

  • Watering guidelines.

9. Puzzle:

  • Blank puzzle pieces.

  • Instructions for creating a personalized puzzle.

  • Images or drawings to be used as puzzle templates.

10. Original Invention:

  • Assorted recyclable materials (cardboard, plastic bottles, etc.).

  • Instructions for building a simple invention.

  • Safety scissors and glue for construction.

  • "Inventor's Guide" with creative prompts.


Note: Ensure that the kits are age-appropriate and safe for your students. Provide clear instructions and supervision, especially for activities involving potential hazards, like chemicals and scissors. Adjust materials based on the availability of resources and the specific needs of the classroom and your students.

Introduction (15 minutes):

Start by discussing the importance of clear and concise instructions. 

Introduce the concept of 'How-to' writing. This type of writing is about providing step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task or activity. 

To learn more about 'How-to' writing, introduce the 'How-to' kits to your students.

Activity (45 minutes):

Distribute the 'How-to' kits to each student.

Instruct your students to follow the steps in the kits to complete the activities. 

Emphasize the importance of paying attention to the details and clarity in the instructions.

Encourage collaboration and discussion among students as they work on the activities.

Let students rotate through the activities for more practice with 'How-to' projects if time allows.

Group Discussion (15 minutes):

After completing the activities and cleaning up, gather your students for a group discussion.

Ask your students to share their successes, challenges, and what they enjoyed about the activities.

Discuss the importance of clear instructions in making the activities successful.

Transition to Writing (10 minutes):

Relate the hands-on activities your students just completed to 'How-to' writing. 

Discuss how each step in the activity is like a step in writing.

Introduce their writing task: Each of your students will choose one activity from the class kit and write a 'How-to' paper explaining the steps they took to complete the activity. They will need to use precise details.

Independent Writing (30 minutes):

Provide your students with writing materials and guide them in creating their 'How-to' papers.

Encourage your students to use the skills learned during the hands-on kits, focusing on clear instructions, proper sequencing, and descriptive language.

Allow your students access to their 'How-to' kits for accurate descriptions, etc.

Sharing and Reflection (15 minutes):

Allow your students to share their 'How-to' papers with the class.

Discuss each paper's strengths and how the hands-on activities influenced their writing.

Display the papers around the room or create a 'How-to' bulletin board.

Lesson Conclusion:

Wrap up the lesson by emphasizing the connection between hands-on experiences and effective 'How-to' writing.

Reinforce the importance of clear descriptions and creativity in writing. 

Encourage your students to continue exploring 'How-to' writing outside the classroom.


Assign your students a 'How-to' paper detailing a personal experience or activity they enjoy and know well. This could be anything from baking their favorite cookies to teaching a sibling a new game or craft. Their goal is to provide clear and detailed instructions so someone else can follow along and replicate the activity.

Lesson Adaptions:

Note: For students with disabilities, adapting the lesson plan can ensure inclusivity and accessibility. 

Possible Adaptations:

  • Pre-Prepared Kits Customization: Provide larger-sized materials for students with fine motor challenges or sensory-friendly materials for those with sensory sensitivities.

  • Instructional Modifications: Offer individualized support by assigning a teaching assistant or peer buddy to students who require additional assistance.

  • Extended Time and Flexible Grouping: Allow students to complete activities, recognizing that some students may require more time to process information or complete tasks.

Written by Brooke Lektorich
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2024 Education World