A Literature-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Support Trait: VOICE

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Teacher's Guide:

A Time Traveler's Log

Who are you and where (or when) are you going?

This lesson was was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Northern Nevada teacher Teresa Gil.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the novel The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from chapter 4 of the book.

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing The Time Machine from Amazon.com, 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:

Step one (sharing the published model):  Read chapter 4 of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, focusing on idea development and voice.  In this chapter, the Time Traveler encounters the Eloi and the world of 800,000 ACE for the first time.  Point out that a 19th century man traveling to the far distant future is an interesting idea.  He brings his 19th century point of view, prejudices and voice to bear in his description of this new world.  Point out that he expected people in the future to be more advanced, not to have the intellectual level of 5 year olds.  Mention that he is astounded that they think he came from the sun in a thunderstorm.  The conclusion he draws from all the evidence is that they are communists.

Use a T-chart and have the students write down memorable descriptions of the Eloi’s world on one side, and conclusions the Time Traveler draws about the Eloi on the other.  Discuss findings.  Pose the questions, “How would you, as a 21st century sophisticate, have described the world of the Eloi?  What conclusions might you have drawn?  How would your voice differ from the Time Traveler’s?"


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 idea development, since that's the focus of this lesson, but you might prompt your students to talk about each model's voice 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): Get students thinking about a time travel destination that interests them.  The interactive button game on the Student Instruction Page will help them think up possibilities. For this assignment, they will assume the identity (and voice) of someone else.  They will be writing about a destination from their chosen character’s point of view and using that character’s voice to both memorably describe and draw conclusions about a place in time.  When students know what character and time-destination they will be using, they can complete the same graphic organizer below, filling in both things they expect to see at their destination and also what conclusions might their character draw about this strange place.

When the graphic organizer is completed, they may begin writing their paragraphs on another piece of paper or on the idea development drafting sheet below.

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.

 


Learn more about H.G. Wells by clicking here.


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