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A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: ORGANIZATION Support Trait: WORD CHOICE

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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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:

Who's to Blame Stories

sequencing a story while talking about cause and effect

This lesson idea was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Deanna LayPort at an SBC-sponsored inservice class.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the picture book Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! by Rosetta Stone. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author.

Check out Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! at

Washoe County teachers, click here to search for this book at the county library.

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

How can a butterfly's flapping wings really cause a hurricane on the other side of the world? Inspired by the pattern and concept in Rosetta Stone's (aka Dr. Seuss) picture book Because a Little Bug Went Ka-CHOO!, students will brainstorm other ways that small actions can lead to larger stories. Writers will choose a fun and original idea for a small cause leading to a big effect, and they will plan to write a Who's to Blame story that borrows sequencing ideas and pattern words from the original text. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is organization; the mentor text provides patterns and cue words that can be imitated so that student writers can explore the concept of sequence and cause and effect. The support trait in this assignment is word choice; onomatopoetic words--like ka-choo--should be encouraged in student writing.

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