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A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


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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:

at the

exploring a unique apprach for writing introductions

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Cindy Kimball 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 Afterlife by Gary Soto. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from the first four pages of this novel.

Check out The Afterlife 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:

To avoid writing a story that begins with a bang and winds down with a whimper, student writers, with this lesson, start stories at the end. After choosing a momentous event in their lives, they write about its climax; they then use this “ending” as a unique and powerful introduction to a longer story that describes the events that led to the climax. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait is organization; by “starting at the end,” students grasp the importance of knowing how their story ends before they start to write, and they acquire a strategy for writing an introduction that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. . The support trait is idea development; after students have written the climax to their story (which is a unique approach to exploring a topic), they will choose interesting, high-quality details to describe the important people, settings, places, objects, feelings, and sensory information to paint a vivid picture of their experience in the reader’s mind.

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