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A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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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:

Creating a Parallel World

using similarities and differences when describing a parallel world

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Paul Heller 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 Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from the first chapter of this novel.

Check out The Subtle Knife 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:

Inspired by the opening events in The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman, students will be asked to create an original parallel world that is similar to ours but different in certain ways. They will focus on the similarities and differences between the two worlds as they create a narrative where a character enters the parallel dimension. Students will develop their ideas, focusing on both the setting and the new characters their protagonist might meet in the parallel world, as well as developing a simple plot. 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 main task is to create engaging narration driven by a character’s experiences in a parallel world. Writers will show the reader the similarities and differences between our world and their created world through the events of their story. The support trait in this assignment is word choice; not only will students choose high-level vocabulary words to build interest and develop their ideas, they will also be able to create new words in order to describe the parallel world they create.

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