One of the best ways to get ready for writing in a new genre is to study books of that genre first. In this case, students are studying procedural texts (how-to) to get ready to write their own how-to books. Yesterday, students were given the task of perusing through books at their tables and simply seeing what they noticed. They noticed a lot. Here are some of their observations: these books all teach how to do something, the directions are written step-by-step (sequentially), sometimes the steps are numbered, there are often photographs and illustrations to accompany the text, and many of the nonfiction features we've studied are in how-to books. Wow! Great thinking, first graders!