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A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


Join our on-line WritingFix community:

Students: Publish your writing to this prompt on-line

Teachers: Discuss how you used this lesson on-line

This Lesson's Title:

Creating a School
Survival Guide

writing an interactive journal to further develop student voice

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by NNWP Teacher Consultant
Rob Stone
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 Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapters 1-5 of this book.

Check out Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie 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:

Scott Hudson has just survived his hectic first day of high school only to come home and find out that his mom is pregnant. With so much change and stress happening in his life, Scott decides to start a diary to express all of his emotions; but since “boys don’t write in diaries,” he decides to record all of his thoughts in the form of a survival guide for his unborn sibling to learn from. As your students follow Scott’s journey and read his “survival guide for freshmen,” they will create their own survival guide, modeling the large variety of genres and styles found in the novel. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait is voice; writers will convey emotion or emphasis through words and capture tone, mood and humor. The support trait is idea development; using a unique approach to exploring their experience as a high school freshman, students will use high-quality details to describe important people, settings and events.

WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

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