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

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About this lesson's author:

Kristy Grow teaches kindergarten at Jerry Whitehead Elementary. She enjoys writing with her students. Kristy also works as a writing instructor for the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Summer Camp Program: TWIST Camps.

This Lesson:
Writing Rainbows

Focus Trait:

Lesson's Mentor Text:

Cat's Colors
by Jane Cabrera

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The lesson on this page is featured in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Six by Six Guide. Click here to see how to order your own copy, which contains thirty-five other trait lessons besides the one on this page.

Big Ideas behind this Lesson:

Trait Focus: Conventions —The concept focus is Conventions as high frequency words. It is imperative for kindergartners to read and write high frequency words with ease. In this lesson, key high frequency words are practiced over and over.

Standards Addressed:

  • Identify and use letter sounds including blending sounds.
  • Use high frequency words and environmental print to read.
  • Draw or write in response to information.
  • Draw or write with teacher assistance to communicate.


I began the lesson by reading the book Cat's Colors by Jane Cabrera, a beautifully illustrated story describing the colors of things in the cat’s world.

Prior to this we had read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess, Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neil, and Leo Lionni’s book A Color of His Own. The pattern of language in these books leads into our interactive writing experience.


After reading many books about color, we discussed all the colors of the rainbow. “Who can tell me the colors in a rainbow?” I asked. “Do you have a favorite color? Turn towards a partner and tell your friend your favorite color in the rainbow.” We then talked about each color. I asked what kinds of things would be red, yellow, orange, purple, green, or blue. Each student was asked to share his ideas with his partner, naming just one thing for each color. We made a class list of these ideas.



As a group, we selected our first color for our class big book. We discussed what might be red. Then, we voted for our favorite sentence and wrote that sentence on our first page. Each day we chose two colors to write about interactively until our class book was finished. I glued the words onto the matching colored page, and a student was chosen to illustrate what we had written. In our shared reading, we had been working on the high frequency words is and for. My goal was to help students to acquire these high frequency words by maintaining the pattern in our class book.

(____ is for ___.) By modeling this idea in interactive writing, students would be more successful for independent work later on. Our class book took approximately one week to complete. It read: Red is for a stop sign. Orange is for a carrot. Yellow is for the sun. Green is for a turtle. Blue is for the ocean. Purple is for a flower.

Each student then wrote an individual color book, a smaller version of our class book. Student books were made in advance using one 5 ½” X 9” of each of the following colors of construction paper: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Students were encouraged to use resources around the room, such as color balloons containing color words on them to ensure correct spelling. After writing on their own, students were encouraged to illustrate each page.

Tools Needed:

Chart paper, marking pens, correction tape, construction paper.


As a class, we read and re-read our interactively written class book. We placed the big class book in our class library for students to read at their leisure. Students made individual books. Students placed their finished products in their book box to read and re-read individually or to a buddy.

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