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

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Welcome to this Lesson:

Unlikely Diary Keepers
reporting on learned facts with an unusual "Dear Diary" scenario

This lesson was created as a demonstration lesson for the 2005 Picture Books as Mentor Texts inservice class, which was sponsored by WritingFix's SBC Grant.

The mentor text:

Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Worm shares interesting facts about earthworms through the voice of a young worm who keeps a diary. This mentor text is very impersonate-able.

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

The writer will assume the role of a living creature (like an arthropod) or an abstraction (like a fraction).  Writers will do research on what they have chosen as their roles, and learn new facts about these roles.  The writer will compose a 5- or 10-day diary, from the point-of-view of his/her role; each entry must contain a reference to a newly learned fact, and some entries should try to include humor (just as Cronin does in her book). 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; students specifically work on putting learned facts into their own words as they create their diary entries.  The support trait in this assignment is voice; attempting to capture the "written sound" of a creature or an abstraction while using humor is an excellent exercise for students who are still discovering their own written voices.

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