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Class Size:
10 to 30
Recent Resources
  1. Small Moments: Plan, Sketch, Write!
  2. Bookmark Strategy: Building Comprehension and Keeping Track of Stories!
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There are 2 assets for this resource.


  • Three page booklets for children to sketch across. (one booklet per child and one used to model the strategy)
  • Chart Paper
  • Marker
  • Pencils

Resource Instructions

This lesson can be used with any writing unit, but could be introduced early on in the year during small moment narrative writing, where children are expected to stretch out one small moment across three pages. Once children have collected ideas or small moments from their lives that they want to write about, they need a bit of scaffolding to learn how to get their moment down across three pages.

I begin with whole class instruction. Children are seated on the rug in the reading area.

I use the TC minilesson format for my writing workshop time.

  1. I start my lesson by saying "Writers, today I'm going to teach you that one way to get started on your writing is to plan it out before you start to write!”
  2.  First, I think about which moment I want to write about. Then, I plan how the story might go across three pages.  (You can model this with ANY small moment you want! I will use an “ice cream” story.)
  3. (Touch page one...) Ok, here I want to say how I was sooo excited to get an ice cream cone. (Turn the page and touch page two...) Then here I want to say how all of a sudden I tripped and my ice cream popped out of the cone! (Turn to the last page and touch it...) And here I want to say how upset I was that I didn’t get to eat my ice cream.
  4. "Did you see how I planned out my story BEFORE I even started to write?!”
  5.  "Now it's your turn to try to plan out your story. Think of a small moment you want to write about. Now, turn each page of your booklets and plan out how it might go.” (You can give out blank booklets, or have children pretend to turn pages of a booklet while they think about each page in their mind.)
  6. "I noticed that so many of you were planning out your stories before writing them down!” Great! Now, let’s get our story across the pages using a quick sketch next! Watch me as I sketch my story across the three pages BEFORE I start to write the words down. (Model how you show the WHO, the WHERE and the WHAT across all three pages.)
  7. Did you see how I got my story across all of the pages by sketching what was important (The WHO, the WHERE, the WHAT) BEFORE I started writing the words?
  8. So writers, remember that any time you are going to write down your stories, you can start by planning out and touchng the pages and then sketching the important parts across the pages BEFORE you begin to write! Let's give this strategy a try in our independent writing!

::::The children are given booklets and asked to try this strategy out on their own during independent writing.::::::

Once I send the children off and start to confer with students one-to-one, I can see who is having difficulty planning. Many children start to write as soon as they get their booklet. This is when I would use the attached document on this lesson. It is a sheet with three boxes: Plan and Touch, Sketch, and Write. I would give the students this sheet with a blank post-it note. Children can place the post-it note on the first box as they Plan and Touch the pages. Once they’ve done that, I’d have them move the post-it to the second box and ask them to sketch across all of the pages. Eventually, the post-it will go on the box for WRITE.

The photo of the chart can be used as a model for a chart you can create with your students during this lesson. Then, the chart can be put up in your room so that you can remind students to practice this strategy during independent writing time.

Best of luck with the lesson!! =) Happy Writing!!!

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Posted by: S.Birnbaum

I love this, from the lesson plan to the printable. It's so simple and inspiring. Thank you!