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

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Creating a School
Survival Guide

writing an interactive journal to further develop student voice


Student Writer Instructions:

Now that you are approaching the end of your school year, you can reflect on what it takes to survive an important and often tumultuous time period in your life. Your experiences and life lessons have made you an expert! So how can you share what you have learned? Why not write a survival guide that a future freshman could follow based on your positive and negative experiences? I bet there were times this year when you could have used one!

As you read Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar, you will examine narrator Scott Hudson’s survival guide and at the same time reflect on your own memories and experiences. You will interact with the novel by recording your own entries modeled closely after Scott’s. You will experiment with a variety of genres, you will explore the four different types of prose, you will have fun with words and you will take advantage of the power of words. The final product will be your own survival guide full of memories, lists, rules, maps, pictures, comparisons, rankings, etc.

A big piece of you will be in your guide and that piece of you will come through as you develop your voice, which is the focus trait of this lesson. You will use your voice to convey emotion and capture tone, mood and humor. The fact that you will be using a unique approach to exploring the experiences of the last year and describing those experiences with high quality details makes the support trait idea development. Readers of your guide will not only be able to learn from your rules of survival, but they will also get treated to rich descriptions of people, places and events that provided the backdrop and storyline of your freshman year.

You will have many, many entries by the time we are done with the novel. Some entries will be accompanied by a graphic organizer, some will be quick-writes, some will be carried through the writing process. Use interactive buttons #1 and #2 below for ideas for your first two entries.

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Topic Ideas for your First Entry:

(It's okay to come up with your own ideas here, if you're not inspired by any of ours!)

Topic Ideas for your Second Entry:

(It's okay to come up with your own ideas here, if you're not inspired by any of ours!)


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