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A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Welcome to this Lesson:

Details and Vocabulary

using content-based vocabulary in a paragraph about animal habitats or history-filled settings

This lesson was created by Northern Nevada teacher, Lori Bell, at an inservice sponsored by the
Northern Nevada Writing Project

The mentor text:

Tulip Sees America by Cynthia Rylant at features a great structural pattern that students can be taught to imitate easily. With a safe pattern, students can work on adding interesting words and details to small pieces of writing about academic vocabulary words.

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

Students write about a specific animal in its natural habitat or an object in a specific setting. After reading Tulip Sees America by Cynthia Rylant, the class discusses the author’s word choice and how appropriate words and vocabulary enhance various descriptions of each setting in the story. Students will select an animal in a habitat, or another object in a specific setting, and integrate meaningful words and content vocabulary in their descriptive writing to create a vivid image. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is word choice; the writers will be using new vocabulary (especially precise nouns) meaningfully and appropriately .  The support trait in this assignment is idea development; although Lisa Desmini created striking illustrations in this story, Cynthia Rylant’s choice of words and detailed descriptions easily paint a mental image in the reader’s mind, and students will try to replicate the technique.

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