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A Literature-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


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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:

Hat Trick

comparing different descriptions of similar objects in one passage

This lesson was built for WritingFix
after being proposed by Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant Nancy Thomas during 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 The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapter 4 of the book.

Check out The Pearl 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:

After reading a brief, but insightful description (from The Pearl) of how and why men wear their hats the way they do, writers will brainstorm ideas about pieces of clothing people wear to identify themselves by. By using the charts provided, students will analyze Steinbeck’s organizational style in this passage and begin to experiment with their own. Finally, students will attempt a powerful or emotive closing sentence for their piece--one that reflects a truth about their own world views in relation to their chosen topics. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait for this lesson is idea development; small details of description make all the difference in a reader’s interpretation of a character or scene. The support trait for this lesson is organization; similar sentence structure helps move a reader through a text and builds a writer’s case.

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