Lesson Plan

Visual Writing

Students will be able to improve their own writing fluency by recording and visualizing the fluency of Steinbeck and Zusak.
Andrea N.
Technology Integration Specialist
Springfield Local Schools
Akron, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, World Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to improve their own writing fluency by recording and visualizing the fluency of Steinbeck.

English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Pre-assessment

Google Drive
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The focus of the project is particularly on the development of writing traits and their interaction with one another.  First, students will be asked to write two paragraphs describing their favorite place, which will serve as a pre-assessment for fluency.  Students should not be informed of the project in its entirety, but be allowed to write just two paragraphs that describe their favorite place.

Students will then record their paragraphs using Garageband and save their project.  


Student Instructions

Think about your favorite place.  Write two paragraphs that describes your favorite place.  

2 Investigating - Set Induction

The teacher will create a podcast using Garageband (or other podcasting software that will physically project sound waves) of the first two paragraphs of the novel.  This should be done as preparation for the class period. 

Students will next examine the first two paragraphs of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men,  in which Steinbeck describes Salinas, California.   Students will first listen to the paragraphs being read.  They will then be asked about how Steinbeck describes "his favorite place."  Do they note any differences or similarities to the way they describe their favorite place?  



3 Direct Instruction

Activity: Conversing

The teacher should provide instruction/discussion on three aspects that improve sentence fluency:

1) Vary sentence beginnings.

2) Vary sentence length.

3)Vary sentence structure. 

Examples in Steinbeck's paragraphs should be pointed out and discussed by students.  This lesson is more productive if teacher serves as facilitator and students lead this discussion.  

The teacher should then project the sound waves on the board through Garageband with attention paid to punctuation pauses and length of sound.  This will allow students to visually see fluency.

4 Independent Practice

Students will now work independently to rewrite  their favorite place paragraphs.  Students will write "mock paragraphs" by copying the fluency Steinbeck demonstrates in his writing.  Students should mock his sentences (parts of speech, syntax, and length) as closely as possible, but with their own words and details.  

Students should record their new mock paragraphs in Garageband.