A Literature-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix
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Teacher's Guide:

Same Setting, Different Moods

voice and word choices bring mood to places and times

This lesson was created for WritingFix by NNWP Teacher Consultant Tamara Turnbeaugh who then presented it 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 novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapter 3 of the book.

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing Lord of the Flies from Amazon, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you!

A note for teachers: 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 you share the published model): First you might want to have a conversation with your students about setting and mood. Describe a few settings and ask students how those make them feel. Or try listing emotions and having students associate those with a setting.

Then, using the upper half of the first pre-writing worksheet below, have students choose an easily accessible mood (like sadness) and individually brainstorm words associated with that emotion. If you were sad, what verbs might you use? Sulked, scowled, moped… What adjectives would describe you? Blue, gloomy, gray…Personally, what do you think of when you think of sadness? Grandma’s death, a fight with a friend…..

Step one (sharing the published model):  Once students understand they will be linking mood and setting with word choices, read the first part of chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies—stop once you get to the dialogue.  On the overhead, together as a class, fill in the second pre-writing worksheet below with words and phrases from the text that give clues about the mood in Jack’s jungle: Semi-darkness, frustration, mad, oppressive, harsh cry, hiss, furtive… Skip the dialogue section and read again where Simon comes in. In this last section of the chapter, Simon goes into the jungle alone and sees a totally different jungle than Jack.  Again, use the graphic organizer to look for mood clues through words and phrases:  Flowers, fruit, sunlight, aromatic bushes, gaudy butterflies, danced, honey-colored, rose delicately…

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 will certainly talk about the voice, because of the Post-it® Note-sized template that has been embedded on each model.  You might 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): After you’ve read and discussed Golding's setting and the student samples, tell your writers they will be creating an original character in a individually-chosen setting today, and they will attempt to create a mood as they describe.  If possible, let students play with the interactive buttons on the Student Instructions Page, or you can write some of the choices on the chalk or white board for them to choose from. Require students to individually pre-write for a new setting, using the bottom half of their graphic organizers.  When they write their stories, you might let them choose either the top half or the bottom half of their graphic organizer as their inspiration. Extension idea for this assignment:  Golding describes one setting from two different characters' perspectives; the mood established for each character is different.  After your students describe their personally-chosen setting from one character's perspective, might they do a second description of the same place and set a different mood?

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 was 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.

Access another Writing Lord of the Flies writing lesson here.

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