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Art & Writing...A lesson inspired by "Some Smug Slug" by Pamela Duncan Edwards

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: Alliterative Sentences Art Project: a decorated accordian book

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About this lesson's author:

Ann Urie teaches first grade at Lenz Elementary in Reno, Nevada. She created this lesson while attending the Northern Nevada Writing Project's "Art & Writing Projects" inservice class for teachers. She also keeps an online portfolio of some of her lessons here at WritingFix.


The Writing Lesson:
Meet the Author Today

This writing and art project was written by Northern Nevada teacher Ann Urie during the NNWP's inservice class on Art & Writing Projects. Ann is a first grade teacher in Northern Nevada who keeps an online portfolio of her lessons at WritingFix.

This page contains both the writing portion and the art portion of this two-part lesson.

Ann's Lesson Introduction:

Can you imagine your life without books? Which books have had a profound influence on your life? Consider a favorite book. What makes it so special to you? With all of the technology available today, there is a concern that books will become obsolete at a point in the future. It is my belief that our world is so visual with words and images co-existing to create heightened meaning for us, and as a primary teacher, I depend on the power of picture books in my classroom each day.

As Alice pondered in Alice in Wonderland, “Why would you want to read a book without any pictures."

According to Paul Johnson in Literacy through the Book Arts,“The book art concept is not yet another new subject to be squeezed into the curriculum: it is the most effective way of processing the whole curriculum!” So much of children’s learning comes from exposure to the book form, it should follow that they can also process learning by making their own books. For kids, knowing how a book is made can help them with their initial intentions for writing and what they really want to accomplish. It gives them meaning and motivation. It is necessary to use critical thinking skills to decide what is to be put in, and what is to be left out.

Writing Lesson Materials:

  • Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
  • 3" x 24" strips of paper
  • satin ribbon in a variety of colors
  • glue sticks
  • colored pencils
  • scissors

Writing Lesson Instructions:

  • Read the book Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards. Halfway through the story, stop and have students discuss with a partner what they notice about each page.
  • Discuss the word alliteration and what it means. As you finish the book remind them to listen for the alliteration. At the end discuss alliteration and the meaning one more time.
  • As whole group start working on a whole class alliteration chart for a chosen insect. Do one letter each day. Here is an example:
Grasshopper...letter G
nouns glasses, grass, go-carts
verbs go, grab, grip
adjectives green, grassy, groggy
other words gripping, Greece, gaily
  • Once you have one letter done have students practice orally making up silly alliterations for that insect.
  • Each day repeat this process. The more oral practice they get the better they will be at doing the project independently.
  • At the end of the week, have students create their own alliteration about the insect of their choice.
  • They must proofread it and check their spelling.
  • Have them write a final copy and glue it onto art work. (Art Project)
  • Share them with the class.

Some Teaching "Hints" from this Lesson's Author:

  • Do lots and lots of oral practice with alliteration before asking students to do it independently.
  • Challenge students to continue using alliteration during recess. Invite them to share after recess.

We're Seeking Photographed Student Samples:

Teachers: We're looking for photographed student samples for this lesson that we can feature here. Do you have a revised and edited sample to share? Take a photo of the final product, and send attachments to us at Please write "Alliteration Insects" in your e-mail's subject line. If we publish your sample here, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the NNWP's Print Publications for your classroom.

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