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A lesson inspired by the NNWP's
Six by Six
Print Guide: Traits Writing for Little Writers

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About this lesson's author:

Anne Newlin teaches first grade at Moss Elementary in Sparks, Nevada. She worked to help us create the original Six by Six Guide in 2008, then built this lesson in 2009 while attending an inservice class sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project.

Anne says, " I’m sure many writing activities have been inspired by Mrs. Wishy Washy, but as far as I know this is an original idea."

This Lesson:
Oh, Messy Cheetos!

Focus Trait:
Sentence Fluency

Lesson's Mentor Text:

Mrs. Wishy-Washy board book
by Joy Cowley

Thirty-six trait-based lessons for
primary writers can be found in:

The lesson on this page was inspired by the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Six by Six Guide. Click here to see how to order your own copy, which contains thirty-six trait lessons like the one found on this page.

Big Ideas behind this Lesson:

Trait Focus: Sentence Fluency —The focus is on how using repetition techniques to enhance meaning.

Standards Addressed:

  • With assistance , use prewriting strategies to plan written work.
  • Draw or write about familiar experiences and/or events.
  • With assistance, write sentences about experiences and/or events appropriate to audience and purpose.
  • Create a final draft through writing, drawing, or dictation.

Talking and Reading:

I read Mrs. Wishy Washy to my Kindergarten class everyday for Shared Reading. We discuss concepts of print and book handling skills and we act out the story at the end of the week.

The following week we brainstorm and make a chart of all the ways to get dirty (painting, jumping in puddles, eating messy foods etc.). Together as a class we participate in an activity that gets us messy! Teacher discretion is advised! I chose to bring Cheetos into class for snack which created a lot of orange fingers and faces. The students are not allowed to wash their hands and faces until I have taken a picture of them. I print off the pictures that night at home.

On the next school day I give each student his/her messy photo to glue to page one of his/her book.


On page one of the student’s book, the students glue their messy Cheetos photo and together as a class we write, “Oh, lovely Cheetos!” said _____ (student’s name).

Page two will have a picture of a grown up pointing to a bath tub and together we write, “In the tub you go!”

For pages three, four and five, we brainstorm and chart ideas for different items that go in the bathtub with us (bubbles, soap, rubber ducky, wash cloth, Barbie, dinosaur etc.). Pages three, four and five will follow the pattern: In went ____________(the student chooses what to write here).

Page six will read: "In went me!"

On page seven give your students another copy of the messy Cheetos photo to glue down and then together write, “Oh, lovely Cheetos!”

Students then illustrate the pages themselves.

Tools Needed:

Chart paper, markers, something messy, camera, individual student books, pencils, crayons


Students create an individual book to be put in their book boxes to read at school and eventually the book is sent home to read with their family. This could also be adapted into a class book.

Clicking on the images below will help you see them in larger form.

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