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Writing Lessons 2009









Grade 3




Addressing the needs of: Level 1 student(s)




Focus: Help improve the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of the student(s)




In this lesson, we will be focusing on improving the students’ writing conventions. The teacher will create a series of puzzles, comprising of various sentences. The student will complete each puzzle and write new sentences, using the words found in the puzzles. To consolidate the lesson, the student will share some of his/her new sentence to their peers.  Through this experience, the students will have the opportunity to work in their tribe communities, which enables them to gain and share problem solving skills.  As well the educator/teacher will be available to assist and model as needed.

By: Fozia Shah and Naveen Malik

Grade 4








Task: Have a clear beginning, middle and end. 




Tools:  Graphic organizers are a great way to help organize your thoughts before students get started on work.




Give an example of a story that is disorganized.  See link  http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/concord/teacherlinks/sixtraits/organactivity.htm




Then students will then organize the ideas in the familiar story Jack and the beanstalk so that it makes sense.  This activity should help students understand the importance of a strong beginning, middle and end.




Using the graphic organizer they organize the ideas in the appropriate categories- Introduction, middle (transitions), and end.














Donna Hynd


Jason Mercier


Urmilla Sawh
















Language Arts: Mini Lesson Based on Assessment
Target – Detailed Writing
  • This mini-lesson activity will help children understand the importance of detail and become more comfortable adding detail to their writing.
  • Students will work interactively with the teacher and read through a story (shared reading)
  • Once the story is finished the children will recall the details from the book to explain the story to someone who has not read it before.
  • The teacher will write one or two sentences from the students on the board.
  • Then ask the students if they can explain what the story is about using only those few details. (Hopefully not)
  • The teacher will then prompt the students to give more detail regarding the story (appeal to sensory, five W’s)
  • Once the students have complied a list of details about the story as a class they will get into smaller groups.
  • In small groups they will select a new story to describe to another classmate.
  • Student will use the strategies used as a whole group to develop sentences that will explain the details of the book they selected.
  • Each group will be given a chance to present their book and explain what the story is about using the detailed sentences they created.
  • The teacher will then be able to reference this mini-lesson activity when students are writing independently and promote detailed writing.


Maryann Chilton, Amy Cook, Jenny Gordon
Grade One
Target: Communication – Sentence Structure
Goal: To have students use simple and complete sentences with variation in the stem used.
Strategies to teach: Modeled writing while discussing variation in sentence stems.
o     During morning activities, the teacher will model a variation of sentence starters and ask the students to describe the different sentences.
o     While using a graphic organizer, students will brainstorm ideas about their toy. The graphic organizer will be organized by sentence starters, such as “I Like my toy because…” or “I play with my toy when…”. Providing sentence starters helps students to build confidence in their writing and expand on their knowledge and ability of writing process. The organizer brings them to a point later where they won’t be as dependent on an organizer for sentence stems. In the box with the sentence starter, “My toy is…” will allow students to brainstorm adjectives about their toy.  
Activity: The students will write about their toy after brainstorming ideas in the graphic organizer. Students will share their brainstorm ideas with a partner before moving on in the writing process, combining their sentences and thoughts.
-Natalie C, Andrea P, Eric R.
Primary-Grade 2
Target: Teaching Connecting Words
Expectation: Organizing Ideas
1.5 identify and order main ideas and supporting details, using graphic organizers (e.g., a story grammar: characters, setting, problem, solution; a sequential chart: first, then, next, finally) and organizational patterns (e.g., problemsolution,chronological order)
-Ask the student to read the story out loud several times so they can hear that there are words missing. Also ask the student to get a buddy to read it out loud to them. 
-Provide connecting words ahead of time so student would grasp the idea of connecting. 
Graphic Organizer: 
-Using the passage or the story the students will fill out the graphic organizer according to the sequence of events. This organizer will be a starting point to link the beginning, middle, and end of the story. 
Jagjeet, Fathia, Harpreet
Mini Lesson
Shared Writing on the topic of Mystery
Grade 5
Teacher Needs to:
o     Keep the boy interested in the story through to the middle and end 
o     boy likes mystery based novels/ideas, so it would be a good ‘hook’
o     3 pictures
- each having something to do with mystery (or anything for that matter – but to
          introduce ‘mystery’ as the topic for the shared writing)
o     Chart paper or blackboard for teacher to record brainstorming ideas
Teaching Strategies:
o     Students brainstorm what they feel each picture could represent
o     Teacher gets students to discuss what order the pictures could go in. Ask: Why? What could this picture mean?
o     Each picture can represent, a beginning, a middle and an ending to the potential mystery story
o     Based on the information the class discusses, the boy can gather ideas to help continue on his story
o     Boy has no problem getting started, but problems with the middle and end
o     The pictures and brainstorming ideas can serve as prompts to initiate further details for the boys story
By: Stephanie, Carol, and Bianca
Topic: Beginning, Middle, End
-          Have teacher tell an elaborated story of transformation of a caterpillar to butterfly.
-          Teacher will ask student to identify beginning, middle, end of the process
-          (caterpillar = beginning, cocoon = middle, butterfly = end)
-       Provide visuals of the three stages as ancors for students.
-          Explain to students that the process does not have to follow beginning, middle, end process students can work on different sections at different times
-          Refer to caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly when assisting students in the writing process.
Amy Cook, Lindsay Taylor, Jenny Gordon, Maryann Chilton and Shelley Ellis
Shared Writing- Mini Lesson
Bring class together
-Share ideas on how to follow a story through…
- Brainstorm ideas and scenario and come up with at least an equal amount of ideas about the beginning, middle and end. Emphasize how important it is to follow a story though and have a good ending.
- Record ideas on the blackboard, so the students can refer back to it when they are writing their stories
-          Brainstorm as a group, good adjectives to use
-          Create an adjective word wall...as a group; come up with new descriptive words each week. Explain to the students why it is important for them to use adjectives in their writing in order to make their stories more interesting and engaging for the reader.
After brainstorming allow time for the students to write a fictional short story to work on their use of descriptive words and to work on writing a strong story from start to finish.
Pamela Snow
Leigh Ann Coady
Lindsey Tyo
Independent Writing - Mini Lesson for Stanley
o      The lesson that we feel that would most effective for Stanley will be an independent writing lesson on mystery stories through visual art inspiration.
  •     Introduce lesson for class by reading The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Describe details of Mr. Burdick’s disappearance in a scenario format.
  •     Using the scenario clues and art work by Harris Burdick, Stanley will organize his questions about the disappearance in a graphic organizer.
  •     Using the organizer and the images in the Mysteries of Harris Burdick as inspiration, Stanley will hopefully have acquired enough inspiration for his difficulty with adjective use to write a compelling short mystery story explaining how and why Mr. Burdick disappeared.
-The Mysteries of Harris Burdick
-The art work
-graphic organizer
-lined paper
The art work will help with his difficulty with introducing describing words into his story writing.
The graphic organizer and case scenario will help him to better organize his thought process.
-Lindsey S., Fathia N., Natalie C


Stanley’s mini-lesson (modelled writing)




Likes mysteries




Focus: beginning, middle, end




Strategies: modelled writing




Stanley brings in own choice of mystery short story.




Make a hamburger model : beginning, middle, end. Talk about each part of the mystery.




How exciting is just the bun? We want all the goodies in the middle and we need to feel satisfied and full that we have finished the very last bite.




Purpose of first bite – get us interested in the rest of the burger. Tastes good, I want more.




All the middle bites – feels good, tastes good, the flavour, the juicy part. You want more. I want to finish it. 




Last bite – satisfied. Tummy full. Without a good ending - you are still hungry; wanting more.




Describe characteristics (what is in it? Purpose of?) of beginning – write in box

Describe characteristics of middle (what is in it? Purpose) – write in box

Describe characteristics of end ( what is in it? Purpose? )– write in box




Really focus on middle and ending…middle of sandwich, great last bite/satisfied that you are finished and full.


As a teacher, we will write a mystery (prepared in teacher notes) showing Stanley a great beginning, middle, and end. We'll talk about how when he reads a great mystery how all these parts are included and that's what is also necessary to write one.


Wendy, Melanie, and Donna






Interactive Writing



Mini Lesson: Interactive Writing




Small Group Work:

Focus on his preferred type of writing: mystery.




Begin by reading a short story with descriptive words, methaphors/similies.

Take sentences from the story, and put them onto individual pieces of paper.  Have a chart:
































Students work together to place sentences into their proper place on the chart.  This will help students learn the different elements of descriptive writing.




Provide students with an example sentence which lacks descriptive words.  Ask students what they think of the sentence and what they would do to change it.

-          Prompt students to use different elements of description

-          Work with students to write out new sentences on a flip chart.




Application: Give students cue cards.  On one side of the cue card is non-descriptive sentence.  Students are asked to add detail and complete the sentence on the other side of the cue card.


By Naveen, Corisa, and Fiona



Independent Writing
A lesson that could be conducted by the teacher to motivate Stanley to develop a middle and end of his writing could be done with such stimulations as videos and pictures. Stanley would require a lot of modelling by the teacher. For example oral, visual, and multi-media ideas could be presented to help him with his adjectives. Also little mini activities could be given to Stanley during independent writing so he is not bored and he stays stimulated. These activities could include energizers or working on other subject areas. 
Jagjeet, Eric, Harpreet



An interactive lesson for helping Stanley improve his writing would be to have a class lesson on what the definition/example of what an adjective, simile and metaphor is.  The teacher could use previous text to tap into prior knowledge of literature that uses these writing tools.  The class as a whole can examine sentences and explore ways that the sentence could be expanded on with the use of adjective, simile and or metaphor.  Following this the teacher should discuss why and when we use these types of writing methods.  Finally, provide some content so that the student can use as practice.  We think that it would be beneficial for the teacher to not single out Stanley but maybe review this area as a whole class.  If Stanley continues to struggle, the next step may be to meet with his parents and provide extra exercises he can complete at home. 




Fozia, Andrea, Christine


Mini Lesson




·         Begin to write more elaborate sentences by using adjectives and adverbs








Post and review these questions with the class. Teach them to use these as a part of their writer’s workshop as part of the revising process.




  1. Have I used strong verbs or colourful phrases that grab my reader?
  2. Have I chosen the most precise word?
  3. Have I used any unique words?
  4. Did I repeat common words too many times?




Read a children’s literature book that focuses on expanding word choices before the lesson (ie. Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis). Discuss the book with the class. Choose a common word (ie. Said) to brainstorm other words with the class that could also be used instead of “said” in their writings. Post the words within the class so that students can refer to them when writing.


Melanie, Wendy, Jennifer


Shared Writing Mini Lesson for Stanley


-          Purpose: To get the student thinking about adjectives, what they are, and how to use them.

-          Introduce the word “adjective”.

-          Start with a short story Luscious Lollipops of in two versions; one with adjectives, one without.

-          Have the students quantify the difference that of the story with missing words.

-          Ask the student to define with the “adjective” is.

-          Grab an object from the class, and have the student describe the objects using as many adjectives as he can.  Use with different items found throughout the room.

-          Find a mystery book and have the student pick out 4-5 adjectives from that book.

-          Now that the ball is rolling, have the student think up another 4-5 adjectives that would coincide with the theme of mystery. 

-          Have him pick one of his old stories for editing, and have him fill in some of the spots with adjectives.

 Sarah Scott, Alastair Leung







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