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Art & Writing...A lesson inspired by "Spaghetti, Spaghetti" by Jack Prelutsky

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: Alliterative Sentences Art Project: A Yarn as Pasta Picture

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The Writing Lesson:
Noodle Alliteration

This writing and art project was written by Northern Nevada teacher Dana Morgan during the NNWP's inservice class on Art & Writing Projects. Dana is a third grade teacher in Northern Nevada.

This page contains the writing portion of this two-part lesson. Click here to view the accompanying art lesson plan.

Noodle Alliterations from Students:

Politely pass me the plate of perfectly plump pasta, if you please.

Slippery, slimy spaghetti slides sloppily on the cerulean saucer.

Spicy spaghetti swirls in my stomach.

Poached pasta pranced proudly out of the pot.

Dana's Lesson Overview:

This lesson allows students an opportunity to explore the dictionary and thesaurus to write creative alliterations about pasta. Alliterations are an excellent way to explore phonics. Take the /f/ sound, which can be written with an f or ph, or the /s/ sound, which can be written with a ps, s, or c.

Writing Lesson Materials:

  • Mentor Text 1: Jack Prelutsky's poem, "Spaghetti, Spaghetti," which can be found in Sunflakes: Poems for Children, edited by Lillian Moore
  • Mentor Text 2: Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
  • Dictionaries and Thesauruses
  • Writing Paper
  • Pencils
  • Nouns/Adjectives/Verbs Chart

Writing Lesson Instructions:

  • Introduce the word alliteration -- phrases or sentences that start with the same sound. Alliteration is often used to write funny tongue twisters, and it is also used subtly to add a poetic element to one's descriptions. Make sure students understand that alliterative sentences need to be clear, and adding words like on, in and the can add the necessary clarity.
  • Read aloud the lesson's mentor texts. Draw students' attention to the alliteration.
  • After re-reading the Prelutsky poem, begin a discussion on pasta. Discuss how it moves, looks, and feels. Create a class chart of verbs and adjectives that go along with the word pasta; work on brainstorming only words that begin with or contain the letter p. Next talk about spaghetti, and do the same thing for the letter s. Re-read Strega Nona and "Spaghetti, Spaghetti," if necessary, to help them add to the word bank.
  • Demonstrate using the thesaurus to find synonyms for words that begin with p and s. Demonstrate using the dictionary to look up words found in the thesaurus that are unfamiliar.
  • You might want to create a third chart for your stronger writers: noun synonyms for pasta, like linguini and fettucini and macaroni. Your stronger writers might enjoy building a larger bank of sentences that explore other alliterative sounds.
  • On their own, students will create a verb and adjective (an perhaps noun) chart that contains words they like best from the class example chart, and the words they independently find in the thesaurus and dictionary.
  • Students will create original sentences that contain alliteration about pasta. The sentences must make sense and not be nonsense, which may require some teacher monitoring. They can choose to write sentences focused on the letter p or the letter s or on independently-chosen letters.
  • Revised and edited sentences will be carefully written on their artwork or near it so they can be displayed together.

Hints for Teaching:

  • You might have some Dr. Seus books handy for students to look at additional examples of alliteration. While the lesson is progressing, you might also teach them some tongue twisters to practice as they work (Peter Piper..., Sally sells seashells..., etc.)
  • If you can bring in different types of pasta for them to see and be inspired by.
  • Tell students to "Read the words they have written out loud. Do they fit together and make sense? Is there a rhythm? Can you clap it or chant out the words? Does the sentence slide off your tongue like a slithery snake?" Challenge students to keep re-working their sentences until they feel perfect.

We're Seeking Student Writing Samples:

Teachers: We're looking for 2nd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade student sentence and artwork 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/or send attachments to us at Please write "Noodle Alliteration" 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.

Third Grade Sentences/Pasta Art

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