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1st Grade Balanced Literacy/Writing: Using Personification to Add Detail to Writing
Lesson Plan Created by Carin Jordan
Summary: Using the book I Stink! By Kate & Jim McMullan, students will learn about writing from the point of view of various animals and objects. This lesson builds upon the natural inclination of young children to
explore their world through pretend games. Students will use their imagination to liven up and stretch the
language of their writing. Students will write riddles to share with other students about the object or animal of
their choice. An optional extension of this lesson allows technology integration publish writing on Voki.com. All
the characters used in this lesson are available as Voki.com avatars.
A. IDENTIFY/REFERENCE NATIONAL, STATE PERFORMANCE, LOCAL CURRICULUM
English Language Arts State and Local Standards:
ELACC1W5: With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions
from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
a. May include oral or written prewriting (graphic organizers).
ELACC1W6: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish
writing, including collaboration with peers.
B. SPECIFY ESSENTIAL CONTENT/OBJECTIVES:
Using interesting details and figurative language adds interest and excitement to writing.
Learn how to use figurative language and add details to strengthen and add interest to writing.
After completing this lesson students will be able to:
Write from the perspective of an animal or object and use figurative language and details to make their writing more interesting.
How do good writers use figurative language and details to make their writing more interesting?
Process - Tiered Graphic Organizers: Through the use of tiered graphic organizers, through which all
learners work with the same important understandings and skills, but proceed with different levels of challenge
Process - Student Choice: Students will have the opportunity to select the character, animal, or object of
their choice to complete the writing activity.
Flexible Grouping: Students will conference with other students of their own choosing to share the riddles.
C. COLLECT A VARIETY OF MATERIALS/RESOURCES FOR STUDENT USE:
I Stink! By Kate & Jim McMullan
Anchor chart paper and markers
Ear of corn or photo of an ear of corn.
Sample of Voki published work for shared writing. http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9499813&height=267&width=200
Classroom Computer and interactive whiteboard
Classroom subscription to http://www.Voki.com
Student 3/6/14 cold write work samples for pre-assessment
Attachments: o Student Choice boards printed in color, 1 or 2 per table o Who Am I? Differentiated Graphic Organizers
High: Open space, high level guidance Medium: Full set of questions set up like model writing Lower: Fewest Categories, more space to write
o Writing Rubric o Student Observational Data Checklist
D. CONDUCT PRE-ASSESSMENT FOR STUDENTS TO DEMONSTRATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE
Pre-assessment based on review of student cold write work samples completed on 3/6/14 and completed
rubric to assess current level of student writing ability.
Based on this information it was determined that most students need to focus on adding interesting details to
their writing. Many of the students in Ms. Collins class are observing basic capitalization and punctuation
conventions. It was further determined that most students are within a close range of writing abilities in terms of
content and the need to add length and details to their writing.
This lesson, therefore, will be differentiated primarily through student choice as well as flexible grouping
during the sharing portion of the lesson. Some level of differentiation will also be provided to several students
in the class. One student will receive a more open ended graphic organizer, in order to allow the student to
explore his own writing with fewer limitations. Two other students will receive a more limited graphic
organizer designed to allow them to have more room to write.
This lesson is intended to energize student writing through the use exciting imagery generated through student
imagination. The lesson is also designed to engage student interest through interactive sharing activities at the
end of the lesson and provide an optional technology extension to generate student interest.
D. (continued) ACTIVATE STUDENT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE:
On the day of the lesson the teacher will invite students to the classroom carpet. Teacher will begin with a
conversation similar to the following:
When I was a little girl I loved to pretend. Every day I woke up and would pretend to be a different
animal. Sometimes I was a snake, sometimes I was a monkey, and sometimes I was even a dinosaur! You
can even pretend to be a thing, like a tall tree, a floating cloud, or even a teacup. Have any of you seen a
movie with characters like a tea cup, a clock, and a candlestick? [Allow students to suggest Beauty and
the Beast or prompt as needed.]
Today we are going to read a book where the author pretends to be a garbage truck. Can you imagine
what it would be like to be a garbage truck? Lets find out.
Teacher will read I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan.
E. PROVIDE FOR NEW KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION:
After reading the book, the teacher will work with students to create a piece of shared writing. The teacher will
introduce this part of the lesson with the following remarks:
Today we are going to do what Kate and Jim McMullan did in their book. We are going to pretend to be
something and we are going to write from that point of view. First lets take a moment to turn to our
elbow partners and talk about what the words point of view mean.
After students discuss and teacher elicits and appropriate response from students, teacher will display an ear of
corn either as a photo or (ideally) by providing the actual object. Teacher will then state:
Today we are going to be one of these. What is this? (Wait for responses.) Yes, it is an ear of corn. Lets
pretend that we are an ear of corn and fill in this chart together.
After teacher and students have created this shared writing piece together, teacher will show students how they
can publish their work using technology. Teacher will share the following link with students:
F. ADJUST ASSIGNMENTS FOR STUDENT APPLIED PRACTICE:
After completing the shared writing example, the students will return to their desks. Teacher will distribute the
Who Am I? graphic organizers as well as choice board cards for each table. Students will select an animal,
character, or object from the cards provided. Note: Students who have a strong preference for an alternate
character may be accommodated to ensure that adequate student interest is engaged.
Students will complete the graphic organizer while the teacher monitors student progress and provides support
as needed. Students who complete the exercise will be encouraged to re-read their own work and add details if
Early finishers may begin to create a published copy of their work which they will use as a reference for the
technology integration portion of the lesson.
When the teacher has deemed that all students have reached a sufficient stage of process, the teacher will allow
the students to work together in pairs or small groups to share their Who am I? writing riddles.
The lesson will conclude with students seated on the rug and selected students sharing their work with the class
as a whole.
Group Element of Differentiation
Colin enjoys writing and is usually the most motivated and independent writer
in the class. Therefore, Colin will receive a graphic organizer that has prompts
but is more open ended in order to allow Colin full opportunity to express his
Acadia, Estaban, Eric, Jason,
Manuel, Nick, Shakira, Sophie,
The majority of the class will use the same format used during the modeled
writing process. Students will be encouraged to use as much detail as possible.
Students will write using the shortened format graphic organizer to provide
adequate room for the larger lettering. Using individual student teacher
conferences, teacher will transcribe the students own writing in to a model
paragraph which students will then use a model for the rewrite.
Note: The following students receive their writing instruction during their ESOL time according to the following schedule:
8:35 9:25: Katrina, Catherine, Rachel, Violet
The following students participate in the school Talented and Gifted program on Mondays:
Roland, Toby, Natalia, Wendell.
As an optional technology extension of the lesson, students will visit the s