An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from HistoryFix & WritingFix
Focus Trait: WORD CHOICE Support Trait: VOICE

Navigating WritingFix:

Return to the HistoryFix Homepage

Return to the WritingFix Homepage

Return to the I-Pod Lesson Collection


Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

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:

Boogie Woogie with a B

Using alliteration while exploring the patriotic tones of the
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

This lesson was created for WritingFix and HistoryFix after being proposed by Northern Nevada teacher Marie Johnson.

This writing prompt inspired by

The Andrews Sisters' version of
"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"

Click here to do a Google search for the lyrics.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :

Pre-step: After going over other World War II primary sources demonstrating propaganda (posters, political cartoons, etc.), tell the students that they will be listening to a famous World War II song. Let them know that you will be asking them what feelings came up after listening to this song.

Step one…sharing the song:   Introduce the song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrew Sisters by having the students listen first, followed by having them see the lyrics on the overhead and as a hand-out.

Discuss the sounds of the song and the feelings that students have after listening to the song and reading the lyrics. You can find the lyrics online by clicking on the Google link underneath the picture of the Andrew Sisters above.

Discuss the playful word choice of the song. Why Boogie Woogie? Why Bugle Boy? Do the words make being in the army sound sad or fun? Look at the other vocabulary. What is the draft? What does having your number up mean?

Next, have the students talk about the voice of the song. What is the purpose of this song? Who is the audience? Is it sending the right tone to the people at home during this war?

Tell the students that they are going to use a graphic organizer to create their own song by playing with the alliteration of the song. Remind them that they are to keep in mind that they are keeping the same tone, purpose and that they have the same audience as the writers of this song had back then.

I-Pod Link: If you happen to have access to watch online videos at your school (or know how to download one of these videos to your I-Pod), you can show the video version of the song, using the link below. If you can't see the video link just below, you are on a computer that doesn't allow access to see videos from the free site where we found this video; you can certainly watch the video later on a computer that allows you access.


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 should certainly talk about the word choice and voice, since these are the focus of the lesson.

  • Because this is a new lesson at WritingFix, we're looking for student samples for all grade levels for this prompt!  Help us get some, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Contact us at for details.

Step three…thinking and pre-writing:  Tell the students that they are going to use this graphic organizer to create their own song that plays with alliteration. Remind them that they are to keep the same tone and purpose of the original song, and that they are to imagine they have the same audience that the writers of this song had back when it was popular. The person their song should be about should be someone from the WWII era.

1st word
2nd word
3rd word
4th word
Can you come up with an original title that might have been sung during the WWII era to promote patriotism?

As students are working on their graphic organizers, encourage them to keep saying their verses out loud. When all students have brainstormed at least one title/chorus for an original song, have them work on creating verses that would promote patriotism back home but still use good alliteration. When they each have a first verse, have them present to or share with their group. Encourage students to get together in groups of three (like those Andrews Sisters) to sing/say their different verses of the song.

Step four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to students' initial drafts, 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.

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 out loud and on-line):   If your students had fun doing this writing, they will certainly enjoy performing their original songs whole-class or in small groups.

Interested in publishing student work on-line?  We invite student writers to post final drafts of their original at WritingFix's Community of Student Writers.  This is a safe-to-use blog for students and teachers. No writing is posted until it is approved by the moderator. Contact us at if you have questions about getting your students published.

Learn more about the Andrews Sisters
by clicking here!

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

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.