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Click on the titles to download free lesson plans and handouts.

Lessons for young writers

3 lessons on booklets, aimed at students up to third grade.

Lessons on organizing

Using booklets to split stories into parts for revising - grades 2 and up.

Revision Circle guide (G 2-4)

Handout to help students understand what do do in Revision Circle.

Revision Circle guide (G 4+)

Handout to help older students use Revision Circle. Grades 4 and up.

Handout: Revising tips

Guide to help students as they revise their first draft. Grades 4 and up.

"The booklet provides a concrete way to address story structure, telling one part on each page, making sure the illustrations and the text go together, and other aspects of craft that have to do with organizing and ordering a cohesive story." – Horn and Giacobbe

Booklets help kids organize

Writing booklets make a useful organizing tool for writing and revising. K-2 students can use booklets to write first drafts. Download Lessons for Young Writers (on right side of this page) for complete details on how to use booklets with young writers.

Students in grades 2 through middle school might use writing booklets as a revision strategy. By getting away from one linear page and dividing their writing into parts, they understand immediately and visually what parts are spare and which are overwritten. They examine the details on each sheet to see if they go together. Download Lesson on Organizing (on right side of this page) for instructions.

Several writing experts have helped shape my use of booklets. Here are exerpts from their books that have influenced me:

Showing students how stories build

Booklets are made up of many pages and therefore show children that stories build, one part upon the next. What is most important is that the formal booklet says, You have a lot to say about this. Built into the structure of the booklet is an expectation for fullness of information. [A booklet] lends itself to writing sentences and paragraphs. This may be a by-product of working in booklets, but when children tell one part of a story on each page, they almost always write a complete thought. Teachers often worry about how to teach young children to write in full sentences, yet in these booklets, most children write one sentence per page. Eventually, as they extend their thinking on each page, these simple sentences become elaborated thoughts about one particular idea, and instead of one sentence per page, they’re writing a paragraph per page (p.150-151).

Tapping all seven intellectual dispositions

The act of making a book clearly requires a writer to devise something in his mind and then use writing to capture the design. Making a book from an idea all the way through blank pages to a finished text is a project; and project of any kind are privileged and encouraged because they require children to work from most, if not all, of the seven intellectual dispositions: problem-solving and reasoning, questioning and problem posing, keen observation – gathering data through all the senses, imagining, innovating, and responding with wonder and awe, intellectually risk-taking, thinking independently, and persistence (p. 23).

Hands-on demonstration of story structure

The booklet allows us to address more sophisticated elements of craft as well. By closely looking at and imitating what other writers and illustrators do, these young writers use elements of foreshadowing, suspense, and integrity before they ever learn the literary terms. When they use these elements in their writing, we show them what they have done and explain why it makes the piece of writing effective. Having that information will allow them to use it intentionally in another piece of work at another time (p. 151).

NEXT: Add, Subtract, Combine - without copying over!

REVISING

Copyright 2016 by Karen Haag

A resource for people passionate about helping students write well, compiled by Karen Haag

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