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

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A President's

researching and voicing facts about
a president in journal form

Student Writer Instructions:

You probably didn't know that Teddy Roosevelt--as a boy--visited Europe with his family. In My Tour of Europe by Teddy Roosevelt, Age 10, author Ellen Jackson shares the acutal words from a primary source document: Teddy Roosevelt's actual boyhood journal.

The lives of our nation's most nation's presidents are very interesting, which is why people write presidential biographies. Did you know that our presidents did interesting things BEFORE they were president? And AFTER? Biographers look into what presidents did before and after they became president, and they include them in their books.

For this R.A.F.T. writing assignment, you will assume the role of any of our past presidents (except Teddy Roosevelt!). You will then look into the person's pre-presidential life or into the post-presidential. Find an interesting period from the life of your chosen president when interesting enough things were happening so that someone reported on them in a resource you find.

Imagine you are the president you have researched, and that you are writing a journal during several days of that interesting period in your president's life. Create a two- or four-day journal that shows two things:

  • actual facts about your president's life that you learned while doing research; each journal entry you write needs to show the reader two actual facts about your president.
  • a believeable "voice" for your journal keeper. Use your knowledge of the president and your common sense to make the journal sound like it really could have been written by he president during that period of his life.

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.

Can you research and write about this president...

(It's okay to research any president for this activity, if you think of one not listed here.)

(It's okay to come up with your own time period for this activity, if you think of a better one.) 

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