An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Teacher's Guide:

One Minute in Time Poems

using onomatopoeia and The Cure to inspire a free-verse poem from your students

This lesson was created by NNWP Teacher Consultant Dena Harrison. Check out all of Dena's online writing lessons by clicking here.

This writing prompt inspired by

The Cure's song "10:15 Saturday Night"

Click here to do a Google search for the lyrics.

A note for teacher users: These lessons are posted so that you may borrow ideas from them, but our intention in providing this resource is not to give teachers a word-for-word script to follow. Please, use this lesson's big ideas but adapt everything else. And adapt it recklessly; that's how you become an authentic writing teacher.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :

Pre-step…before sharing the published model:  Play the song “10:15 on a Saturday Night” by the Cure for your students and discuss any poetic elements of the song that seem to stand out.  Guide the discussion, if necessary, to the onomatopoeia.  (“Drip, drip, drip, drip…”)  Ask them what they think this dripping might represent.  Guide them, if necessary, to the sound of a clock ticking and the tap dripping in time to the clock.  The Cure uses this onomatopoetic technique to show the passage of time.  Explain to students that onomatopoeia is a word whose sound makes you think of their meanings. See if students can brainstorm more examples of these types of words and write on them on the board.

Step one…sharing the published model:  Put The Cure’s song lyrics on the overhead; use the Google link above (just below the picture of the album cover) to find a set to print on a transparency.  Read through the song with your students as you listen to it again.  You may also want to point out the fact that this is a free verse poem/song and the words do not rhyme.  Explain to them that free verse poetry is a fun form of poetry because it is mostly patterned after speech and images.  Another great thing about free verse poetry is that you have the freedom to use sound effects and shortened lines whenever you feel, without worrying about getting your words to rhyme!

Step two…introducing student models of writing: In small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups need to certainly talk about the Idea Development, since that's the focus of this lesson, but you should prompt your students to talk about each model's Word Choice as well. 

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for other grade levels for this lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Visit this lesson's student samples page for details.

Step three…thinking and pre-writing: Remember, the focus trait for this lesson is Idea Development.  Have the students get into groups of two and brainstorm some important events in life that you would count down to, where the last minute before might be significant.  Check out the buttons above for a couple of seed ideas to get them going.  For those students who are having trouble coming up with ideas, click below again for even more idea starters!  Once they have come up with three or four, have them choose their two favorites.  Choose a few students to share their ideas with the class. Students may either work together on this poem, providing two different perspectives of the same moment, or by themselves on just one view of the moment they chose.

Share Original Graphic Organizers (for Pre-Writing)
from Your Teaching Toolbox.

We share graphic organizers with our peers, we find them in books, and we think we should also be able to find tried-and-true ones online at WritingFix. This year, if you create an original graphic organizer (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original graphic organizers for specific lessons, like this one, can be submitted as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to rough draft writing, attach WritingFix's Revision and Response Post-it® Note-sized templates to your students' drafts.  Make sure the students rank their use of the trait-specific skills on the Post-it® Note-sized templates, which means they'll only have one "1" and one "5."   Have them commit to ideas for revision based on their Post-It rankings.  For more ideas on WritingFix's Revision & Response Post-it® Note-sized templates, click here.

Share Original Revision Techniques or
Adaptations from Your Toolbox.

Inspired by Barry Lane's Reviser's Toolbox, the WritingFix website encourages its teacher users to adapt our lessons, especially the tools of revision we have posted here. If you create an original revision tool (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original revision ideas from teacher users of WritingFix can be submitted through copy/paste or as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step five (editing for conventions):  After students apply their revision ideas to their drafts and re-write neatly, require them to find an editor.   If you've established a "Community of Editors" among your students, have each student exchange his/her paper with multiple peers.  With yellow high-lighters in hand, each peer reads for and highlights suspected errors for just one item from the Editing Post-it.  The "Community of Editors" idea is just one of dozens and dozens of inspiring ideas that is talked about in detail in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Workbook for Teachers.


Step six (publishing for the portfolio):  The goal of most lessons posted at WritingFix is that students end up with a piece of writing they like, and that their writing is taken through all steps of the writing process. After revising, invite your students to come back to this piece once more during an upcoming writer's workshop block.  The writing started with this lesson might become even more polished for final placement in the portfolio, or the big ideas being written about here might transform into a completely different piece of writing. Most likely, your students will enjoy creating an illustration for this writing as they ready to place final drafts in their portfolios.

Interested in publishing student work on-line? You might earn a free classroom resource from the NNWP! We invite teachers to teach this lesson completely, then share up to three of their students' best revised and edited samples at our ning's Publish Student Writers group.

To submit student samples for this page's lesson, click here. You won't be able to post unless you are a verified member of this site's Writing Lesson of the Month ning.

Learn more about The Cure
by clicking here!

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