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A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

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Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


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Welcome to this Lesson:

What's Been Lost?

exploring "lost" nouns (both abstract and concrete) in students' writer's notebooks, then writing about one...

This lesson was created by NNWP Consultant Barbara Surritte-Barker. Barbara created this lesson to complement 2010's Mentor Text of the Year Program at the WritingFix website.

The mentor text:

Where Once There Was a Wood is a wonderful picture book about losing something concrete, and it is used in this lesson to have students explore other things that have been lost.

An Overview of this Lesson:

A "writer's notebook" is a classroom tool where students can explore ideas for future writing assignments. Early on in the school year, students can be taught whole-class to devote pages of their notebooks to topics that would make interesting bigger pieces of writing. This lesson is presented as a lesson to show students how to set-up a page for their writer's notebooks; after setting up the page, they can be encouraged to replicate the process with future discussions in ways that feel more personalized to them. Later, if you have a writer's workshop, the students can be challenged to return to this notebook page and explore what they wrote as a "launch" to a bigger piece of writing.

Inspired--first--by The Black Eyed Peas and their song (and YouTube video), “Where is the Love?” students will dissect the song to identify what exactly The Black Eyed Peas feel has been lost. Piggy-backing on the song's theme, students will then consider the piccture book by Denise Fleming, Where Once There Was A Wood. Motivated by the classroom discussion about both mentor texts, students will begin to write a piece reflecting on what they have lost, feel has been lost in their community, their country or the world and the unanswered questions they have for their generation. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.




6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is idea development; in their writer's notebooks, students will consider options and then develop an idea of something that has been lost in their personal world or the world they live in.  The support trait in this assignment is organization; students will carefully consider the direction and pacing of their piece as they integrate their thoughts and perspective as well as the ideas of their group.


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