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TITLE OF LESSON (Writing Focus):

Writing Using Details
2.12 The student will write stories, letters, and simple explanations.
b) Organize writing to include a beginning, middle and end for narrative and
expository writing.
c) Expand writing to include descriptive detail.


UNDERSTAND - Students will understand how to use details including beginning, middle, and
end in their writing.

KNOW - Students will know how to add details into their stories to add interest.
Students will know what kind of details to add to their stories.

DO - Students will write a short story about a time they were scared and include at least 3
details in that story.

During this lesson I will be having the students write a short story about a time they were
scared. In this short story (which can be fiction or nonfiction) the students must include at least 3
details. They will be given 20 minutes to complete this short story, and I will be collecting it to
check for the details.



This lesson is as a part of the ongoing unit of writing that is focusing on details, so the
students will have already learned Beginning, Middle and End, and also had some mini-lessons
on using details in their writing. By the end of this lesson they should have more practice with
details and be able to use them more effectively. Students have used guided writing before and
have been asked to use details when filling them out.
My Cooperating Teacher gave me the idea to take over this lesson from her, saying that
they would be reading The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
and using that to write a short story about a time when they were scared. So I took that lesson
and decided to have them still read the story and write their short story but use a focus on
details in their writing. Throughout the reading of the book I will be stopping to point out when
the author used details to make her story more engaging and descriptive. I will also be
explaining afterwards why we use details and how we as writers can more effectively use them.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan
Paper for planning the once I was scared story
Anchor Chart paper

Discuss how you will address the topics below. Provide specifics about what you plan to say,
questions you may ask, and strategies you will use to make the lesson a success.

Before CONNECT I will explain to the students that all books that
Students learn why todays we read have details in them and how those
instruction is important to them details help us to all have the same picture in
as writers and how the lesson our minds when we are reading. I will ask them
relates to their prior work (if to think of some examples of details that help
applicable). The teaching point us to picture what an author could describing
is stated. more clearly. So a detail helps us to get a
picture of what the author wants us to see in our
mind. What do details help us do? What kind of
things can you picture when you get details?
Then I will tell them that we will read part of the
book The Little Old Lady Who Wasnt Afraid of
Anything and that they should be looking for
where the author uses details to help tell the

During TEACH I will then read the selected pages from The
The teacher shows the Little Old Lady Who Wasnt Afraid of Anything
students how writers and we will discuss how she used details. I will
accomplish the teaching point point out parts in the story like when the author
in the mentor text explains it was a windy day. After I finish
reading the story I will make an anchor chart
with the students about what sort of details the
students notice in the book or in writing in
general. What are some examples of details
we know about? What kind of details did you
notice in the book? Like whats a detail on the
first page about when she left her cottage?
What kind of details could you add to your
ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT Students will then return to their seats and
After we teach something, begin their story on the papers I have provided
students are given a chance to on their desks. They will write a short story on a
practice what has just been time they were scared and if they cannot think
taught with new writing or of one they are allowed to make a story up. I
revising a prior piece. (May will give an example of a story I would tell such
assess during this time) as One time I was coming home from school
when my brother decided to scare me. He had
gotten home before me and hid in my room until
I came in. When I came into my room he yelled
boo and I screamed I was so scared. During
this I will point out the details I used (I was
coming home from school, he hid in my room,
etc). Then they will be sent to write their own

After LINK I will ask the students to turn to someone at

The teacher reiterates what their table and share what they wrote about and
has just been taught and gives what three details they used in it. At the end of
students an opportunity to the lesson I will have students again answer
share (May assess during this what types of details they can use (color, time,
time) texture, etc.) and explain why they use them.
So what is it that details do for our story? Do
you think its important to use them in your

Students are able to write as much as they can within the time constraint, meaning
students who are less comfortable writing will end up writing shorter and less detailed stories
and students who are at a higher level will end up writing longer and more detailed pieces.

Students will also be given the option to write about a real time they were scared or if
they cannot think of one they can make a story up.

We will have discussed possibilities for the details they could use in their stories before
they return to their seats and begin writing. I will leave the chart up at the front of the room so all
students can see it, that way struggling students have prompts. I will also be circling the room to
see if any students are stuck with what to write and will gently guide them through it.

None of my students have need for English language support, nor are there students who have
issues writing physically.
Think about this! It may help you avoid an embarrassing situation.

Students may not be able to think of examples of details when going over the anchor
chart. If this is the case I will start them off with a possible idea such as color.

Students may not be able to finish a short story in the 15 minutes they are given to do
so, if that is the case I will either extend the time (if my Cooperating Teacher allows) or tell them
that whatever they have written is enough and they do not have to finish it.

Students may not be paying attention during the reading of the book and if they do so I
will utilize the silent coyote that causes them to pay attention. Then I will remind them that they
have to pay attention to the story to see how to use details, and continue reading the story.

Students could also not be doing their writing during the time given to them. I will be
constantly circling the room and talking to the students who are either struggling or not paying
attention throughout the 15 minutes given.


As soon as possible after teaching your lesson, think about the experience. Use the
questions/prompts below to guide the writing of your 6- paragraph reflection (1 paragraph for
each letter). Be thorough in your reflection and use specific examples to support your insights.
A. How did your actual teaching of the lesson differ from your plans? My cooperating
teacher had forgotten about my mentor text lesson plan so she had already had the
students begin the Once I Was Scared story, meaning that instead of starting their story
they had to go back in and add the details to it. This also meant that the students who
were pulled out of class during writing on Monday for being above level had to be
retaught the beginning of the story they were writing. So my Cooperating Teacher had to
pull the 6 students aside to teach them her lesson so they could then come to me and
write their details. We also ran out of time so they were not all able turn and share with
their tables, nor were many of them able to get 3 details added to their story. It was
harder to go back and add details than include them in the beginning as many of the
students already had details in their story already.
B. Describe at least one way you could incorporate developmentally appropriate
practice in a better or more thorough way if you were to teach this lesson again. Many
of the students struggled with what I meant by details specifically. My Cooperating
Teacher had previously been focusing on adjectives so the students were unsure as to
what a detail meant specifically. I would have chosen to have them add more adjectives
to their story instead of details, or another more specific set of details to add. The
confusion with what a detail was meant that some students just wrote adjectives and
some wrote sentences that were part of the story, in all the additions to the stories were
all over the place. I would also have modeled the story more like I was originally
planning to but that got thrown out when I had to change the assignment to be adding to
the story instead of starting one.
C. Based on the assessment you created, what can you conclude about your impact on
student learning? What did they learn? What evidence can you offer that your
conclusions are valid? Based on the assessment data you collected, what would you
do/teach next if you were the classroom teacher? If I were a classroom teacher I would
likely reteach my lesson next, changing the focus on details to be a focus on adjectives.
This would allow the students to have a better grasp on what it was that I wanted from
them. Based on the couple of additions to the stories I was able to take samples of I
noticed that some students wrote out full sentences filled with details like I was hoping
they would, whereas others, based on miscommunication, just added one word
adjectives. So some of the students were able to understand what it was I meant by
details and others were not, making assessment almost invalid due to poor
communication on my end.
D. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had
reinforced about children as learners? I have learned that children need very explicit
instructions on what you want, particularly younger students like my second graders.
They can and will get confused by unclear instructions and they will let you know it.
When the whole class is unsure of what exactly to write you are pulled into a million
different directions by students calling your name and coming up to you. They also do
not work as quickly as I always expect them to so I have a tendency to over plan my
lessons. This means I will have to be more careful about my timing and not let it run late
as often.
E. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had
reinforced about teaching? I have learned that teaching can require a lot of forethought,
or at least that much more planning goes into a single lesson than you would imagine
just looking at it. When teaching you have to be able to make decisions based on how
the students are taking the lesson as you go, so no plans are ever set in stone. You
have to be willing to deviate from where you thought you would go because as much as
you plan for possible problems there can (and probably will) be something that is
unexpected. You also have to be prepared to handle behavior issues a lot more
frequently than you would expect, at least from my group of kids there is a lot of talking
out of turn. Behavior management is a huge part of teaching and helps lessons and daily
classroom life to run much more smoothly.
F. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had
reinforced about yourself? I have learned that I need to have a solid plan for my lessons
otherwise I will not be clear in my instructions. I need to be able to plan what I am going
to say before I say it because I do not work well on the fly yet, but my Cooperating
Teacher has mentioned that that mostly comes with practice and time. I am not always
good at making snap decisions and winging it but that is something that I will have to
learn as it is such a big part of teaching. I also learned that once I am in front of the class
and specifically put in charge I find myself feeling more confident in my abilities because
I am being given the power to be. I will tend to shy away from discipline in many cases
but when the time came during my lessons I was able to do so.