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A Chapter Book-inspired Writer's Notebook & Narrative Lesson

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Welcome to this Lesson!

Leads for a Most
Moment Narrative

exploring leads in your writers notebook before writing a draft

This lesson was created by Northern Nevada teacher Barbara Cuitino during an AT & T-sponsored inservice class for teachers.

The Mentor Text:

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963's first chapter has the main character--Byron --undergoing one of the most embarrassing moments in chapter book history! This will hopefully inspire your writers to explore their own embarrassing moments.

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 great classroom resource!

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

Inspired by the embarrassing situation Byron finds himself in during chapter 1 of Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, students will think of their own embarrassing moments they might write about. Using the handout from this on-line lesson (which shows seven different ways to start a story), students will write seven possible leads for Byron's story; then, they will brainstorm seven leads for their own embarrassing stories, writing all seven on a decorated page in their writers notebooks. Teachers can encourage students to choose their favorite lead and write the entire story for their writing portfolio. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is organization; the writer's goal is to explore seven different techniques for starting a story, then choose the lead that seems to work the best.  The support trait in this assignment is idea development; as studens craft story openings, they should be encouraged to carefully choose details that will make the lead more memorable.

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 January 2011'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.

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