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A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Students: Publish your writing to this prompt on-line

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This Lesson's Title:


listening while sketching, then writing for sketches

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Ruby Forte 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 The Sisters Grimm, Book 2: The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the book.

Check out The Unusual Suspects (The Sisters Grimm, Book 2) at

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

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

The Sisters Grimm, Book #2: The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson is a story about two sisters who are descendants of the brothers Grimm; when their parents are kidnapped by the Everafters, the sisters go to live with their Granny Relda and head to school, where they begin researching ways to locate their parents.  Student writers will listen to three vivid scenes from the book, sketching the imagery the scenes create for them.  Students will, then, create their own sketch-inspiring piece of writing, and they will share it with a classmate, so they can see how it gets sketched by a listener. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

This lesson’s focus is on the writing trait idea development; the writer will listen to three different scenes from the book and sketch the pictures that Michael Buckley created for his readers with words, and then develop his/her own picture-inducing piece of writing.  The support trait is word choice; with carefully chosen creative words, anyone can create an image with words on the page.

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