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Mentor Text Lessons: Short Stories
inspiring students to mimic the author's craft of the best writers

WritingFix is always growing. It's what we do. Welcome to a new page we're developing to meet the needs of even more teachers.

How is this new resource page being built? Over the Summer of 2009 and during the 2009-2010 school year, the Northern Nevada Writing Project is sponsoring a teacher inquiry group for middle and high school teachers. This group is using the book Less is More: Teaching Literature With Short Texts, Grades 6-12 by Kimberly Hill Campbell to inspire them to collaborate and create skill-based writing lessons from short stories they love to teach.

As the group finishes creating lessons, they will be posted here for others to examine and use. Eventually, we expect to house enough lessons on this page so that we can sponsor an inservice class on the topic of "Using Short Stories to Teach Better Writing."

We hope by posting this page early, we will inspire other teacher groups to look at the same book and think about using short stories differently this year. We're glad you're interested enough to check in with this brand new project at WritingFix. Check back with us to watch this page grow.

Propose your own Short Story Lesson! Join our WritingFix Family!

Propose your own picture book-inspired lesson to be posted at WritingFix! Below are our two templates for picture book-inspired lessons. Here is our template for short story-inspired teachers' lessons. If we end up using your lesson at WritingFix, we will send you any two of the NNWP's Print Resources as our way of saying thank-you for sharing your ideas with the thousands of teachers who use this website.

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RAFT Lessons & Prompts Inspired by Great Short Stories

Lesson:
Convince that Jury

Mentor Text: "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl

RAFT Overview: Students assume the role of a defense attorney and write a final plea to the jury to find the main character in Dahl's story innocent by reason of insanity.

Lesson Author: Dena Harrison

Lesson:
Travel to Venus!

Mentor Text: "The Long Rain" by Ray Bradbury

RAFT Overview: Students assume the role of a travel agent and try to use Bradbury's imagery techniques from the story to lure potential travelers to come vacation on rain-soaked Venus.

Lesson Author: Corbett Harrison

Lesson:
Guilty or Innocent?

Mentor Text: "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst

RAFT Overview: Students choose to be either prosecuting or defense attorneys as they put the story's older brother on trial for the murder of the younger brother.

Lesson Author: Rebekah Foster

Lesson:
Fortune and Mis-Fortune

Mentor Text: "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs

RAFT Overview: Students, first, create a fortune cookie fortune-making machine, then they write a story that cautions readers to think differently about fortune and luck.

Lesson Author: Corbett Harrison

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Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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