A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Support Trait: VOICE

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

Picture Book Lesson Homepage

Idea Development Homepage

________________

Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson

_________________

On-line Publishing:

Publish your students at our Ning!
(You must be a member of our "Writing Lesson of the Month" ning to post.)

 

Teacher's Guide:

Other Bad Cases to Write about

solving an original character's problem with voice and emotion

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Northern Nevada teacher Annalisa Walker at an SBC-Sponsored inservice class.

The intended "mentor text" to use when teaching this on-line lesson is the picture book A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author.

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing A Bad Case of Stripes from Amazon.com, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you!

A note for our 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 one becomes an authentic writing teacher.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :

Step one (sharing the published model):  A Bad Case of Stripes will intrigue a broad range of ages...from 9-99!  This book has an underlying message to all  people:  if something is important to you, then just DO IT, and don’t worry about what other people think!  This picture book, written by David Shannon, does a fabulous job of addressing a very real, ordinary problem in many people’s lives, but it approaches the problem in a very unique, unusual way.

As the teacher reads this wonderful story aloud,  discuss two interesting, trait-based techniques.  First, discuss how the author has taken a common problem that many children can relate to, and developed a story with VERY unique ideas about what happens when someone has this problem.   Second, the story successfully conveys Camilla's emotions as the story unfolds.  Unique ideas supported by emotional narration is something David Shannon is very good at.  Thoroughly talk about these two things before taking students to the interactive prompt below.

It would probably be helpful to--as a class--chart a list of "Ordinary Problems Kids Experience."  Let this class-generated list, alongside the game below, inspire unique and emotion-filled stories from your students.

 

Step two (introducing 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): The interactive button choices on the Student Instructions Page can certainly inspire your students to begin generating ideas for this assignment, but you can certainly create a class brainstorm that accomplishes the same without being on the computer.

Once students have a title and an emotion chosen, have them plan their story in three parts:

  • Introduce the character
  • Introduce the problem
  • Solve the problem

Encourage students to plan their stories with equal attention to these three parts; this will help them have a thorough story. As they plan each part, encurage them to choose and use strong details that will do two things: 1) be easily remembered by the reader; 2) make the reader feel the emotion they have chosen.

When students are done planning and ready to write, you can have them use this drafting sheet, which comes with an idea development checklist for them to fill out when the draft is done.

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):  Two tools for revision are provided below.  You can use one or both, depending on how much time you have to spend on this assignment.

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 David Shannon's books by clicking here!


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

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.