Comparing & Contrasting
To Imitate Two Nature Writers
creating a "showing" description about a natural object or place
This lesson was originally proposed by Nevada teacher Joni Martindale at an AT&T-sponsored in-service class for teachers. In 2010, the lesson was revised to feature a writer's notebook element.
The Mentor Text:
Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall is a beautifully written story that can be enjoyed and analyzed for its crafted language.
This is a writer's notebook-friendly lesson! This write-up has been recently revised to incorporate the creation of a writer's notebook page as part of its pre-writing process. A teacher model of the notebook page can be seen at left. On the teacher instructions page for this lesson you can read the step-by-step instructions for this writer's notebook task , which makes use of our webmaster's "Margin Mascot," Mr. Stick.
You can visit WritingFix's Writer's Notebook Resources Homepage to access more lessons and prompts revised to inspire effective modeling of writer's notebooks for our student writers.
A marvelous classroom tool!
Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:
Each writer will compose and revise a "showing" descriptioninpsired by an object or a place in nature. Long before drafting, students will discuss and compare the writing styles and techniques of published authors who focus on natural settings or descriptions from nature. Just as Patricia MacLachlan does (with mentor texts like Sarah, Plain and Tall and All the Places to Love) and Jane Yolen shows (with texts like Welcome to the Sea of Sand and Least Things), the writer will paint a verbal picture of an object or place in nature, using carefully chosen verbs and adjectives. Teachers: Click here to read the entire lesson plan.
6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:
The focus trait in this writing assignment is word choice; each writer will incorporate interesting adjectives by focusing on color, texture, and sound words. The support trait in this assignment is sentence fluency; the writer will strive to create a descriptive paragraph that uses sentences that begin with different words and that have different lengths.
Recipient of the NNWP's Excellent Writing Lesson Award:
Because of the quality of its resources and ideas, this WritingFix lesson was selected by the Northern Nevada Writing Project as November 2010's Writing Lesson of the Month. It was e-mailed to thousands of teachers who are members of the NNWP's Writing Lesson of the Month Teacher Network.
To quickly access all the WritingFix lessons that have been chosen as "Lesson of the Month," click here to visit the on-line archive. You can have a link to a high-quality writing lesson sent to you every month.