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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

Teachers: Discuss how you used this lesson on-line

This Lesson's Title:

What's in a

writing a character sketch for an interesting and unique character

This lesson was developed for WritingFix after being proposed by NNWP Teacher Consultant Denylle McDowell during 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 Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially excerpts from the first seven chapters.

Check out Stargirl 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:

After enjoying a light-hearted look at and discussion from a Dr. Seuss book, students will explore Jerry Spinelli's unique title character, Stargirl.  The interactive word game below will give student writers ideas for interesting character names and interesting character "elements."  Then...Inspired by Spinelli's excellent details and unique ideas, students will create an organized, one-page character sketch for the character they think up. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is idea development; the writer's goal is to create a short, narrative account that sounds like it believably comes from another person.  The support trait in this assignment is organization; strong imagery-filled words will help students create a more powerful piece of writing.

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