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A Picture Book Poetry Lesson from WritingFix

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Welcome to this Lesson:

What If... Poems

developing imaginative stanzas for an original poem inspired by well-worded what if questions

In 2006, this lesson was originally proposed by Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant Amanda Bodenstein. In March of 2009, it was further developed to be featured at the NNWP's Piñon Poetry Festival.

The mentor text:

What If... is a wonderful good-night story that challenges writers to use their imaginations recklessly!

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

Students--inspired by the What If... statements by author Regina J. Williams in her picture book--will write original what if statements that incorporate strong word choices with great imagination. Students will stack three or four highly imaginative What Ifs to build the majority of a poem. The final stanza of the poem will also start with a What If, but will talk about a heartfelt topic. 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; strong verbs, interesting adjectives, and precise nouns should be stressed as students compose their original What if... statements.  The support trait in this assignment is idea development; when students develop their what ifs into stanzas, they will do so by adding memorable details.

Recipient of the NNWP's
Excellent Writing Lesson Award:

Because of the quality of its resources and ideas, this WritingFix lesson was selected by the Northern Nevada Writing Project as June 2009's Writing Lesson of the Month. It was e-mailed to thousands of teachers who are members of the NNWP's Writing Lesson of the Month Teacher Network.

To quickly access all the WritingFix lessons that have been chosen as "Lesson of the Month," click here to visit the on-line archive. You can have a link to a high-quality writing lesson sent to you every month.

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