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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:

Showing with Participial Phrases

verbs (serving as adjective phrases) that launch action-packed sentences

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Rebekah Foster at an SBC-sponsored inservice class.

The mentor text:

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen is a well-crafted picture book that can be used to teach your students the power of using strong verbs to show their writing to their readers.

This is a writer's notebook-friendly lesson! This write-up has been recently revised to incorporate the creation of a writer's notebook page as part of its pre-writing process. A teacher model of the notebook page can be seen at left. On the teacher instructions page for this lesson you can read the step-by-step instructions for this writer's notebook task , which makes use of our webmaster's "Margin Mascot," Mr. Stick.

You can visit WritingFix's Writer's Notebook Resources Homepage to access more lessons and prompts revised to inspire effective modeling of writer's notebooks for our student writers.

perfect classroom guide!

Four-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

After a short lesson on combining two sentences with a participial phrase (or participle), students will create a writer's notebook/learning log page where they paraphrase the process of creating a participle. Then, upon discussing the participial phrases used by author Debbie Allen in Dancing in the Wings, students will plan a descriptive paragraph about an action-filled experience a character might undergo. One of their sentences will use a participial phrases at its beginning, one will use a participial phrase at its end, and one will use a pariticipial phrase at its end. Students will double- and triple-check their sentences for correct punctuation of participial phrases. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is sentence fluency; learning how to begin sentences with participles is one way to show students the variety of ways that sentences can begin.  The support trait in this assignment is conventions; participial phrases require commas to separate them from sentences, and students are to learn how to separate them with this writing assignment.

Great advice from a real author!

Welcome to one of WritingFix's showing lesson! For the 2011-12 school year, all our posted lessons of the month encourage teachers to really teach and demonstrate showing skills; showing is a task that involves many traits: idea development, voice, word choice, and sentence fluency. Both books cited here help teach authentic showing to student writers

As you use this lesson, be sure to take time to teach your students the academic language that goes along with the skill of showing.

A picture book that will inspire better writing!

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