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

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

Picture Book Lessons Homepage

Narrative 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:

Relative Report Narratives

organizing a bad-situation-that-gets-worse descriptive tale

This lesson was created by NNWP Teacher Consultant Dena Harrison. Check out all of Dena's online writing lessons by clicking here.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is the picture book Tub-Boo-Boo by Margie Palatini. 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 Tub-boo-boo 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 :

Pre-step…before sharing the published model:  Ask students to brainstorm "Things you might expect a news reporter on television to say."  Write them down on the board for later reference.  Discuss how certain jobs--like news reporters--need to use certain voices when they do their jobs.

Brainstorm other jobs that might have unique voices.


Step one (sharing the published model):  Margie Palatini has done it again!  Her Tub-boo-boo story is charming!  In it, she tells the story of a boy who gets his toe stuck in the spigot of the bath-tub.  Remember when that happened to Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van Dyke Show?  Palatini sets up a wonderful "bad-situation-that-gets-worse-before-it-gets-better" scenario as other characters, trying to help, get stuck in the spigot too.  Talk about embarrassing! 

What's even better is that the whole story is introduced (and reported on) by the older sister.  The sister stands on the front lawn and introduces us to the tale as though she is a news reporter breaking the story for the six o'clock news.  Charming, charming, charming!  And easily impersonated!

Share Margie Palatini's wonderful tale, Tub-boo-boo, with your student writers.  As they listen, have them actively think about two things:

1)  Listen for the voice of the narrator and ask, "When does she sound most like a news reporter?  What does she say?"

2)  Listen for the sequence of events in the story about the household accident.  The situation builds upon itself before it resolves itself.  What steps make up the sequence of events?

After sharing the story, have students talk about these two questions with each other, then report out loud to the class.

Inform students they will be writing their own bad-situation-gets-worse stories today, and they will borrow Palatini's idea of introducing the story as though they are the older or younger sibling who is introducing us to the story in the voice of a news reporter.


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 organization, because that's this lesson's focus, 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.

Pass out the graphic organizer and have students plan the parts of their stories before they begin drafting.  Encourage good sequencing and pacing by suggesting they give "equal time" to all the parts of the story. Suggest they not rush through certain parts of the story and spend huge amounts of time on other parts; remind them at a well-organized story gives equal time to all its important parts.

Once the graphic organizer is completed, allow students to draft their stories on their own paper. 

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 Margie Palatini's books by clicking here!


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

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.