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

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson

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Welcome to this Lesson:

Instead of Said
Dialogue Adventures

writing and punctuating a dialogue exchange between a book's dog and its baby

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by NNWP Teacher Consultant
Karen McGee
during a workshop for teachers.

The mentor text:

Good Dog, Carl by Alexander Day is a wordless picture book that documents a patient dog's adventures with the baby he's left to care for.


Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

Using Alexandra Day’s wordless book, Good Dog, Carl, students will write dialogue in the voices of the central characters in the book, the dog and the baby. After students have written their dialogue in theater form, they then rewrite their pieces using the proper conventions of dialogue writing. This on-line prompt allows students the pleasure of putting words into the mouths of the characters before asking them to think about and produce more interesting ways of framing dialogue and punctuating it correctly. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.


6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is conventions; the writer’s goal is to punctuate dialogue properly. Depending on the age group of students, a variety of ways to write dialogue can be taught and practiced using this technique.   The support trait in this assignment is word choice; after brainstorming and charting a variety of ways to say “said,” students will then choose the most appropriate synonyms for their own pieces of dialogue writing.


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