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Maryn Wallen

Indiana Wesleyan University

Elementary Education Lesson Plan
Writing Lesson
2007 ACEI Standards

BIG IDEA: Cause and Effect
When you give someone a personal letter and a picture to follow describing who they are to you and how
important they are to you, they will respond nicely most of the time and will thank you. When you do
kind things to other people they will be kind back. On the flip side sometimes people are not nice back,
but you being kind to them could soften their heart possibly and make them be a little bit more grateful
for someone to think about them.
Rationale: This lesson is important because it gives students an opportunity to practice good word choice.
Students will learn how to use words effectively when writing a letter to someone special to them. They
will describe what they like about this person using 5 characteristics and support them using different
word choices.
I. Goals/Objectives/Standards:
a. Goal – Students will continue to practice writing and enhancing their word choice.
b. Objective – Students will write a letter communicating, with appropriate word choice,
how a specific person has influenced them using 5 characteristics.
c. Standards -
4.W.2.1 Write legibly in print or cursive, forming letters and words that can be read by others.
4.W.3.3 Write narrative compositions in a variety of forms that – Use dialogue and descriptive details to
develop events and reveal characters’ personalities, feelings, and responses to situations
4.W.4 Apply the writing process to – • Generate a draft by developing, selecting and organizing ideas
relevant to topic, purpose, and genre; revise to improve writing, using appropriate reference materials
(e.g., quality of ideas, organization, sentence fluency, word choice); edit writing for format and
conventions (e.g., spelling, capitalization, usage, punctuation).
II. Materials: Paper plates, Liquid drop dye, Shaving cream, Thick paper, plastic fork, flat
surface utensil (for scraping), Book “The Right Word”
III. Management
a. Time: 65 minutes
i. Anticipatory Set: 5 minutes
ii. Mini-Lesson: 10 minutes
iii. Writing: 30 minutes
iv. Sharing: 5 minutes
v. Activity: 15 minutes
vi. Closure: 5 minutes

b. Materials: I will have the shaving cream ready to go and pour for students. No other
materials needed to be set up.
c. Space: When writing students will remain at a place where they have a hard surface to
write. Some students move to a separate table to avoid distractions. They have the option,
but once they begin they are not able to move. When teaching the mini-lesson, sharing,
activity and closure students will remain back at their desks participating in discussion.
d. Students: If a student were to have an issue writing I would meet with them towards the
beginning to assist them in the process. I would want them to be writing during the
expected writing time not doing anything otherwise. I am alright if the student needs a
few moments to brainstorm, process and then proceed. Students need space and time to
think when writing. I will limit that option to only a small amount of time.


IV. Adaptation to Diverse Students –
I will give students a list of characteristics that would be appropriate for fourth grade level
understanding. There are many students who have a difficult time coming up with
characteristics right away so this should help them to focus on specific characteristics. I will
provide a list of word choices for those who struggle with processing and creating. If students
come to me stuck I will have a list of words to help guide them along the way.

V. Lesson Presentation (Input/Output) – Use concepts from reading, language and child
development, to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills to
help students successfully apply their developing skills to many different situations,
materials, and ideas. Include a variety of teaching strategies that encourage elementary
students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving.
a. Mini-lesson
i. Anticipatory Set: Read “The Right Word” Characteristics and Thesaurus (words)
ii. Purpose Statement: Today you will be learning how to communicate with good
word choices in a form of a letter to someone important in your life. This is
excellent practice for when you want to describe how you feel towards someone
or a chance for you to respond in a form of communication regarding an
important role.
iii. Introduce Trait – Word Choice
When we use good word choices our text sounds more appealing. Appealing also
means interesting. When a text or book sounds interesting we are more likely to
read it, right? For example you have been reading the book Wonder. Do you
want to continue reading the book to find out the ending? If so why? (The book is
interesting or enjoyable to listen to…I want to know how it ends) Exactly. The
author has sucked you into the book with his words. I am going to read two
poems and I want you to listen for some good words used and share with me
what you heard.
1. Poem: Made by myself

The fragrant blossoms had sprouted in a field far away.

I gleamed at the beam of sunlight
And daydreamed of the days in summer

The pink porpoise leaped fervently toward the tiny blue fish.
Gulp, down the fish progressed through the throat and into the stomach.

2. Students will share a strong word choice they heard from the poems
3. Read to students an example of a letter using dry word choice examples.
Model the format of a proper letter. (Students have had some exposure to
this format, but not a lot of practice with it)

Show students a simple example and then show how better word choice could
have been implemented in different parts of the letter. Then show the students
you putting in better words to help the sentence sound stronger.

iv. Shared Writing – Now students will begin writing. “Now you will write a letter
to a special someone in your life. Then we will follow up with a picture to paste
onto the other side of the letter to demonstrate how you care for this person. Your
first step is to make a list of 5 characteristics that you find special about this
special person. (There will be a list of characteristics listed on the board)
b. Writing Process
i. Details of what students will do: Students will write a letter to someone special
in their life. They will explain what they have done for them. They will explain
what they mean to them. Students will refer to the thesaurus for other word
choices if they are stuck. They will have a beginning, middle, and end to the
letter. They will have an intro (Dear…) and a conclusion and signature
(Sincerely, their name).
ii. Describe your plan for conferences: I will have students come to me because if I
go to them I know I will distract the other students. If I am able to pull them
aside and talk with them privately they would appreciate that one on one time.
The student and I will be able to focus on their work strictly and making the most
of our time. I will read what the student wrote out loud to them so they can listen
and I can model good fluency. Then I will show the student some good words
they used in their writing that I liked seeing and then point out some room for
improvement so they can continue writing and adding explicit word usage. (I will
leave them with a post-it note stating + and then room for improvement)
c. Share: Students will get into groups of three and share either their beginning, middle, or
end of their letter. Each student will compliment a word choice that they liked hearing in
another student’s story.
d. Activity: To follow up the letter (make something for whomever) Students will do a
shaving cream marbling project for this person. Imply that it is nice to give
projects/drawings for people you care about. This is a way of showing appreciation for
them. You get to choose the design or illustration that you want to give to them. When
you scrape off the shaving cream you will then look at your picture and then tape/glue to
the letter the other side of the letter.
Directions: Take the plate and cover a certain area with shaving cream, then take the liquid
dye and drop 3 different colors in certain spots, Then take the plastic fork and swirl the colors
in their specific design, Then lay the paper on top of that shaving cream and gently rub the
paper and flatten it. Then slowly peel the paper off of the paper plate and lay flat on the dry
side. Have students then take a hard flat surface utensil and scrape off the shaving cream onto
the plate or a paper towel. (Depends)
Take the liquid dye and drop different colors
Take a plastic fork and swirl to swirl colors
Put paper over the swirls and rub it in
Leave it in there and then peel it off
Scrap off shaving cream
Then students will let it dry for a few minutes and then paste it onto their letter.

VI. Check for Understanding:

As students are writing, I will be conferencing with students individually to help them
improve in specific areas of their writing. I will make note of good word choices used.
The second way I am checking for understanding is walking around the room when I am not
conferencing with students. If I notice some students on the right track I will guide them in
the right direction and encourage them to continue. If there are words that I could see
improvement I will point those out as well.
VII. Review Learning Outcomes / Closure
I will ask for students to volunteer to read their letter about that special someone in their
life. I want at least 3-5 students to volunteer. If under 3 volunteer I will have students
volunteer to read a part of their letter and not the whole thing. (Or I can read their letter
for them if they are nervous to speak in front of their classmates)
Formative: When I conference with students, I will look at what they have written and then assess their
understanding of word choice. I will listen to why they chose specific words in their writing and observe
what characteristics they used in the letter.
Summative: Their letter will establish and represent their understanding of good word choice. This letter
will be sent to this special someone in their life.


1. How many students achieved the lesson objective(s)? For those who did not, why not?
2. What were my strengths and weaknesses?
3. How should I alter this lesson?
4. How would I pace it differently?
5. Were all students actively participating? If not, why not?
6. What adjustments did I make to reach varied learning styles and ability levels?
a. Bloom’s Taxonomy
b. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
7. Do students understand why word choice is so important?
8. Where students able to peer edit in a workshop setting? Or did that need to be more teacher