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The NNWP celebrates its Consultants who've created websites about teaching and writing:


Corbett's
Always Write
Website
(Grades K-12)



Jodie's
Start to Learn
Website

(Kindergarten)



Dena's
Write in the Middle
Website

(Grades 6-8)



Holly's
Making Mathematicians
Website

(Grades K-12)



Brian's
Learning is Messy
Blog

(Grades 4-6)



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Mentor Texts: Picture Book Lessons, Grades 3-12
demonstration lessons shared at the NNWP's teacher workshops

Have you seen WritingFix's complete bibliography page?

Click here to access our resource page that shows every picture book and chapter book for which WritingFix has lessons and prompts! WritingFix receives a small donation from Amazon for each book purchased through our bibliography page. Help us keep WritingFix free-to-use by using the links we've placed on this page to place your Amazon order. Thank you in advance for supporting WritingFix in this way.

How did this page of quality lessons come about? In 2005, WritingFix and the Northern Nevada Writing Project received a generous grant that helped begin the very popular lesson collection you will find on this page. The generous $25,000 AT&T Grant, acquired with the help of the Washoe Education Foundation, allowed us to design and host a very different kind of inservice class for 100 Northern Nevada teachers, and that inservice made possible this page.

Members of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Technology Team created and demonstrated eight brand new picture book lessons to the first 100 teachers who signed up; they then gave away 100 copies of each of the picture books so that class participants could teach any of the lessons back in their classrooms. At the inservice's end, each of the 100 participants brought in a different picture book to share, and each wrote a brief proposal for a 6-trait lesson inspired by their books. The best of those proposals became the lessons you can find on this page.

Our Picture Book Inservice continues in Northern Nevada. Each year, the NNWP offers a variation of the original 2005 Picture Book inservice. Instead of giving away picture books (since the grant is exhausted), we give to all class participants a copy of the NNWP's awesome print resource--The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide (pictured at right). Our picture book inservice remains highly popular, and each year we try to add up to four new lessons here from the most recent class's participants.

"Your [Picture Books] inservice is--by far--the most valuable class I have ever taken as a teacher. Thank you for making me re-examine the way I talk about picture books with my students!" (Stacy D., elementary teacher)

"All of the presenters were wonderful. The lessons and books they shared were awesome, and I will be using their ideas in my classroom. Thanks for a wonderful experience!" (Nancy T., middle school teacher)

"As a high school teacher, I wasn't sure how much I would get much out of this class. You proved to me that picture books can be the inspiration for great high school mini lessons on writing." (Janet J., high school teacher)

Student samples being sought for every lesson on this page: Please enjoy (and adapt!) the free-to-use lessons on this page, and please share them with your colleagues. If you notice we're missing a student sample of a certain grade level, we want to hear from you. Each lesson features a link where you can freely post up to three samples from your classroom. We send a free copy of one of the NNWP's Print Resources to teachers who send us samples that we can post at each of the lessons.

A Discussion Prompt for Teachers Using this Page during Collaborative Professional Development: We have come to believe in the importance of incorporating a great mentor text into a writing. A mentor text is a published piece of writing whose idea, whose structure, or whose written craft can be analyzed andd discussed as a means of inspiring their own writing. During our teacher workshops, we help our participants understand these three purposes of a mentor text. Here is a link to a Powerpoint slideshow used by one of our trainers, Corbett Harrison; it explains the three categories of mentor texts we ask our teachers to think about. As you explore the lessons posted on this page--alone or with colleagues--here are two discussion questions to help you think about these lessons' design: "Is the mentor text being used to inspire an idea, a structure, or a craft skill from student writers? What's an additional mentor text that you might incorporate into the already-written lesson that would add another opportunity for students to think about ideas, structures, or writing skills?"

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For which writing trait do you need a lesson?


Become a Lesson Contributor:

This website celebrates original lessons posted by hundreds of real teachers. Many of our lessons were created during our Northern Nevada Teacher Workshops, but many others were created by outside-of-Nevada teachers who e-mailed their inspired ideas to us.

If what we've posted here inspires you to create an original lesson based on a favorite picture book, send it to us. Below is the template we use:

Our template for picture book lessons

Our 6 Most Popular Picture Book-inspired Idea Development Lessons

Lesson: Using 90th Street's Advice

Mentor Text: Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Silly Animal Problems

Mentor Text: Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Organization

Lesson: Unique Imaginary Friends

Mentor Text: Ted by Tony DiTerlizzi

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Rolling with the Animals

Mentor Text: Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Organization

Lesson: What Got Stolen?

Mentor Text: Grandpa's Teeth by Rod Clement

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Organization

Lesson: Fierce Wondering Stories

Mentor Text: Amelia's Notebook by Marissa Moss

Focus Trait: Idea Development
Support Trait: Voice

More for Idea Development

Idea Development:
A Foundation for your Writing

Visit WritingFix's Idea Development Homepage for dozens more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

Additional idea development picture book lessons:

Our New Idea Development Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response!

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Our 6 Most Popular Picture Book-inspired Organization Lessons

Lesson: A Scientific Mishap

Mentor Text: Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Floating Down a River

Mentor Text: Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Three-Meal Weather

Mentor Text: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Between Repeated Catch Phrases

Mentor Text: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Sentence Fluency

Lesson: Weird Animal Adventures

Mentor Text: Tuesday by David Wiesner

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Powerful First Paragraphs

Mentor Text: Brave Margaret by Robert De San Souci

Focus Trait: Organization
Support Trait: Idea Development

More for Organization

Organization:
The Main Structure of the Writing

Visit WritingFix's Organization Homepage for dozens more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

Additional organization picture book lessons:

Our New Organization Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response.

Back to the top of page

Our 6 Most Popular Picture Book-inspired Voice Lessons

Lesson: Start with What Isn't There

Mentor Text: Caves by Stephen Kramer

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Interjected Emotions!

Mentor Text: No David! by David Shannon

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Conventions

Lesson: I Wanna [Something]

Mentor Text: I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufmann Orloff

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Word Choice

Lesson: Giving Voice to Opposites

Mentor Text: I Am the Dog I Am the Cat by Donald Hall

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: "Just the Facts, Ma'am."

Mentor Text: The Web Files by Margie Palatini

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Conventions

Lesson: Unusual Friendly Letters

Mentor Text: Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague

Focus Trait: Voice
Support Trait: Word Choice

 

More for Voice

Voice:
Adding Appropriate Amounts of "You"

Visit WritingFix's Voice Homepage for dozens more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

Additional voice picture book lessons:

Our New Voice Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response.

Back to the top of page

Our 6 Most Popular Picture Book-inspired Word Choice Lessons

Lesson: An Onomatopoetic Field Trip!

Mentor Text: Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Serendipitous Character Descriptions

Mentor Text: Tough Boris by Mem Fox

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Hoot and Howl...

Mentor Text: Halloween Hoots and Howls by Joan Horton

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Conventions

Lesson: Details and Vocabulary...

Mentor Text: Tulip Sees America by Cynthia Rylant

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: The Color of Love

Mentor Text: I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Organization

Lesson: Haiku Riddles

Mentor Text: If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky

Focus Trait: Word Choice
Support Trait: Idea Development

More for Word Choice

Word Choice:
Shiny Moments in your Writing

Visit WritingFix's Word Choice Homepage for dozens more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

Additional word choice picture book lessons:

Our New Word Choice Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response.

Back to the top of page

Our 6 Most Popular Picture Book-inspired Sentence Fluency Lessons

Lesson: Special Days or Places to Love

Mentor Text: All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Showing with Participial Phrases

Mentor Text: Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Conventions

 

Lesson: Counting Sentences' Words

Mentor Text: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: School Song Parodies

Mentor Text: Take Me Out of the Bathtub and other Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Idea Development

 

Lesson: The Five-Transition Adventure Planner

Mentor Text: Meanwhile by Jules Feiffer

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Idea Development

 

Lesson: Ain't Gonna Rain No More

Mentor Text: I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

Focus Trait: Sentence Fluency
Support Trait: Word Choice

 

More for Sentence Fluency

Sentence Fluency:
Helping Words "Float" Together

Visit WritingFix's Sentence Fluency Homepage for dozens more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

Additional sentence fluency picture book lessons:

Our New Sentence Fluency Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response.

Back to the top of page

Our Three Featured Conventions Lessons inspired by Picture Books

Lesson: Personifying Punctuation

Mentor Text: Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver

Focus Trait: Conventions
Support Trait: Idea Development

Lesson: Interjections and Questions

Mentor Text: Yo! Yes! by Chris Raschka

Focus Trait: Conventions
Support Trait: Voice

This lesson is undergoing revisions! Check back soon.

Lesson: Instead of Said Dialogue Adventures

Mentor Text: Good Dog, Carl by Alexander Day

Focus Trait: Conventions
Support Trait: Idea Development

More for Conventions

Conventions:
The Final Piece of the Picture

Visit WritingFix's Conventions Homepage for more lessons, prompts, and resources that focus on this very important writing trait.

Learn more about our original "Building a House with the Traits" metaphor at our 6 Trait Homepage.

 

Our New Conventions Post-it Note:

Visit WritingFix's Post-it Note Resource Page for some fresh ideas for revision and response.

Back to the top of page

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