A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: WORD CHOICE

Navigating WritingFix:

Return to the WritingFix Homepage

Return to the Chapter Book Lessons Page

Return to the Voice Homepage

________________

Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson

_________________

Join our on-line WritingFix community:

Students: Publish your writing to this prompt on-line

Teachers: Discuss how you used this lesson on-line

 

This Lesson's Title:

Down on
the Farm

the place where
dreams come to life

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Ronald Hearn at an AT&T-sponsored in-service class for teachers.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the chapter book Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapter 4 of the book.

Check out Harris and Me at Amazon.com.

If you are a Washoe County teacher, click here to search for this book at the county library.


Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :

Step one (sharing the published model):  Read chapter 4 of Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. The book is about a boy named Harris and his cousin. Harris’s cousin is sent to live with Harris's family after his cousin is taken away from his alcoholic parents. The two of them waste no time inventing ways to get themselves into trouble. They become lifelong friends through the adventures they share during a long summer on the Larsen’s farm.


Step two (introducing student models of writing):  In small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups will certainly talk about the voice, since that's the focus of this lesson, but you might also have your students talk about the word choice in the writing too.

  • We're looking for student samples for all grade levels for this prompt!  Help us get some, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Contact us at publish@writingfix.com for details.

Step three (thinking and pre-writing): Brainstorm some strong words that students can use when writing their creative stories.  The students will create a story in the first person which will include an exciting place and a specific adventure.  The students can use the interactive buttons on the Student Instructions Page, or they may choose their own setting and adventure.

To help students organize their thoughts, they should create their own idea organizers, based on a model showcased by the teacher. Additionally, to encourage more voice in students' rough drafts, you might have them compose their rough drafts on the attached drafting sheet, which has an embedded Voice Post-it® Note-sized template to remind them to think of the focus trait during and after composing.


Step four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to rough draft writing, attach WritingFix's Revision and Response Post-it® Note-sized templates to your students' drafts.  Make sure the students rank their use of the trait-specific skills on the Post-it® Note-sized templates, which means they'll only have one "1" and one "5."   Have them commit to ideas for revision based on their Post-It rankings.  For more ideas on WritingFix's Revision & Response Post-it® Note-sized templates, click here.


Step five (editing for conventions):  After students apply their revision ideas to their drafts and re-write neatly, require them to find an editor.   If you've established a "Community of Editors" among your students, have each student exchange his/her paper with multiple peers.  With yellow high-lighters in hand, each peer reads for and highlights suspected errors for just one item from the Editing Post-it.  The "Community of Editors" idea is just one of dozens and dozens of inspiring ideas that is talked about in detail in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Workbook for Teachers.


Step six (publishing for the portfolio):   When they are finished revising and have second drafts, invite your students to come back to this piece once more during an upcoming writer's workshop block.  Their stories might become a longer story, a more detailed piece, or the beginning of a series of pieces about the story they started here.  Students will probably enjoy creating an illustration for this story as they get ready to publish it for their portfolios.

Interested in publishing student work on-line?  We invite student writers to post final drafts of their original at WritingFix's Community of Student Writers.  This is a safe-to-use blog for students and teachers. No writing is posted until it is approved by the moderator. Contact us at publish@writingfix.com if you have questions about getting your students published.

 

Learn more about author Gary Paulsen and Harris and Me by clicking here.


WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.