"This lesson plan is focused on the art of writing memorable sentences, and how descriptive language has been found to stimulate cognitive function. The writers of this blog post say students first should study their favorite sentences, discussing the qualities that make them great. They should then work in groups to paraphrase the sentences, comparing their new creations to the originals and discussing their own cognitive responses to each."
Readers’ Theater (also spelled "Reader’s Theatre" or "Readers Theater") is an activity in which students, while reading directly from scripts, are able to tell a story in a most entertaining form, without props, costumes, or sets.This is a reading activity, and students are not asked to memorize their lines. They are, however, encouraged to "ham it up" and use intonation and gestures appropriate to their characters and their characters’ words.
Reading aloud works on so many levels for both reading and writing. Reading aloud is a great way to develop an understanding of Sentence Fluency. It also builds vocabulary. As I write this I'm listening to Koala Lou. A fine example for sentence fluency!
Mem Fox provides a wealth of ideas and information for teachers and parents.
Included are a series of stories read by the author.
Learn how to teach and assess writing more effectively and help students understand the 6-Traits of good writing (voice, ideas, word choice, organization, sentence fluency & conventions). Explore strategies to enable learners to progress through higher standards and improve test scores. Participants get extensive hands-on practice assessing a variety of student samples using the 6-Traits rubric.
Sentence Fluency is just one of the six writing traits. In Nevada, where only four traits (ideas, organization, voice, and conventions) are "officially" assessed on the fifth grade state writing test, you can elements of sentence fluency embedded on the state's conventions rubric. So, as we say in our trait trainings, even though sentence fluency doesn't have its own rubric on the state test, teaching it well can improve students' convention scores.
Sentence Fluency is a complex trait that should be discussed, explored, and further developed everyyear that students learn to write in school; both kindergartners and high school seniors can be taught to think about developmentally appropriate skills that are associated with sentence fluency. This page contains sentence fluency lessons and resources that we consider appropriate for sharing with third graders and up. If you are working with primary writers and the six traits, be sure to visit WritingFix's 6 Traits and Primary Writing Homepage for lessons designed specifically for those grade levels.
A Bibliography for Teachers Interested in the Going Deep Guide: In 2006, the Northern Nevada Writing Project (sponsor of this free-to-use website) published a 196-page resource for teachers: The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide.
The guide features trait-specific lessons and resources designed to help all students use 6 trait language better as they explore the act of writing. Many of the guide's lessons and resources cite awesome picture and chapter books as examples of powerfully crafted text to show and discuss with students. Many Northern Nevada school libraries made sure they had all cited books from the guide available to their teachers.
I was excited to see the example in the book that described a good way to begin teaching varying sentences was to model. That is exactly what I did with my class last year when I dabbled in teaching sentence fluency. I wrote a story similar to the boring beach story in the book. Mine was about playing at the park. I started every sentence with we and the sentences were short and simple. Then next to it I had a story with descriptive words, varied sentence lengths and different words starting the sentences. I started by asking which one was more enjoyable to listen to. They were able to respond correctly and talk about what made it more interesting to listen to. We then focused on the poorly written park story and how we could rewrite it to make it have more sentence fluency. We never got past the modeling and shared writing portion of this because the school year ended. I am excited to try some more of the ideas in Spandels's book this year.
This post includes a list of online resources! ~Dennis
How did this page of lessons come about? Since the 1990's our Northern Nevada Writing Project has sponsored annual poetry events for students and teachers in Nevada. In 2001, when we launched the WritingFix website, we began posting many of the demonstration lessons from past workshops, and we began posting new lessons that were being created by our NNWP Teacher Consultants and teachers taking our inservice classes. This page began taking shape as our "poetry collection" in 2002.
Communicating in pictures is the first form of writing-on-paper primary teachers address. The power of more picture details is that students then have more details to label. The more they label, the more they can write and develop. This produces young writers who can do more than draw a picture and write a single sentence. They can draw a picture and write numerous sentences!
But don’t just tell students to draw with details, teach them how. There are several explicit lessons you could address within these first weeks of school. Take your time as you introduce these new concepts in lessons. Each idea might require more than a one-day mini-lesson.
Writing Traits: Teaching the Skills of Sentence Fluency teacher-created resources and lessons...all focused on skills that make up the sentence fluency trait
Sentence Fluency is a complex trait that should be discussed, explored, and further developed every year that students learn to write in school; both kindergartners and high school seniors can be taught to think about developmentally appropriate skills that are associated with sentence fluency. This page contains sentence fluency lessons and resources that we consider appropriate for sharing with third graders and up. If you are working with primary writers and the six traits, be sure to visit WritingFix's 6 Traits and Primary Writing Homepage for lessons designed specifically for those grade levels.
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