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

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Teacher's Guide:

An Onomatopoetic Field Trip

using sound effects to tell the story of an imaginary field trip

This lesson was created for WritingFix after being proposed by Northern Nevada teacher Karen Mitchell an an NNWP inservice class.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the picture book Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root. 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 Rattletrap Car from Amazon.com, and you will 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):  Teachers should stress, as they read the cited book aloud, what the author has done particularly well in writing this story:  in this case, author Phyllis Root has chosen marvelous sounding and mind-picture inducing onomatopoeias to center her story around;  in addition, illustrator  Jill Barton has ingeniously contributed pictures that  illustrate onomatopoeias in a personal way.  The interactive activity below is a follow-up to reading the story, and it attempts to inspire students to create an original, personal story by matching onomatopoeia sounds with an interesting setting.

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 word choice, since it's the focus of the lesson, but you might prompt your students to talk about each model's idea development 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 non-represented 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 game on the Student Instructions Page will get your students thinking about field trip location choices and onomatopoeia choices. Your students can certainly brainstorm original locations and onomatopoetic words for this assignment.

Once students have chosen a location to visit in their imaginary field trips, ask them to spend some time brainstorming an exciting moment that might happen on this field trip.

I always ask my students to plan their stories' exciting moments in three parts. I say, "First, what will happen? How will the exciting moment begin? You know you'll have enough details when you can tell me just about the first part in four or five sentences. Can you use at least one onomatopoetic word to help tell this part of the exciting moment?" Let students brainstorm on their own pieces of paper.

Then I say, "Next, what will happen to continue this exciting moment? You know you'll have enough details when you can tell me just about the second part in four or five sentences. Can you use at least one onomatopoetic word to help tell this part of the exciting moment?" Continue brainstorming.

After that I say, "What will happen to bring this exciting moment to a close? You know you'll have enough details when you can tell me just about the third part in four or five sentences. Can you use at least one onomatopoetic word to help tell this part of the exciting moment?" Continue brainstorming.

Once students have brainstormed their exciting moment in three parts, ask them, "How will you introduce this field trip and the exciting moment that is about to happen to your reader? How can you launch them into this story without giving every detail in the world? Can you write a four- or five-sentence introduction that sets up the exciting moment?" You might pass out the Little Red Riding Hooks handout to help them begin with a very powerful sentence.

Finally, students can think about an interesting way to finish their stories?

Once students have thought about their story, have them discuss their plans with several other students. When students hear their own thinking aloud before writing, drafts become much better. Plus, they might pick up some good strategies for story-telling from their partners.

Students can draft their stories on the drafting sheet below. The onomatopoeia handout might help your students choose the perfect three or four examples of onomatopoeia to use in their stories.

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.  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 is 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 their 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 free-to-use Writing Lesson of the Month ning.


Learn more about onomatopoeia by clicking here!


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