LESSON THREE: Developing a Topic for Writing Using an Idea Web
Students review ideas from the web and the Arnold Lobel books (Frog and Toad books) to develop a topic for a narrative.
W1A Follow a writing process to independently use a graphic organizer in prewriting, generate a draft, routinely reread and revise work, routinely edit and proofread for capitalization and ending punctuation, and independently publish writing.
W2A Create legible compositions with correct spacing between letters in a word and words in a sentences.
W3A Write narrative text that records a series of events in chronological order and contains story elements.
§ Sources of Literature
o Display of Arnold Lobel books
o Flip chart or overhead projector
o Student writing folders or writer’s notebooks
§ Handouts provided
o Idea Web graphic organizer
§ Words to know
o graphic organizer
Students complete a pre-writing activity that becomes a plan for their narrative piece.
1. Begin with a mini-lesson to model the development of a topic for writing a narrative. The topic should be related to friendship. First lead students in a discussion. Explain you will start a new piece of writing and are searching for a topic related to “good friends”. Remind students of good friends mentioned in books read during mini lessons in the days leading up to this unit. Students should review their webs and focus on friendship and writing about friendship.
The Frog and Toad Series has limited use for modeling a detailed narrative writing piece but works well for discussing characters. It is also useful for ideas by taking everyday topics and developing them in an interesting way. Other quality touchstone texts include: Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes; Anna Banana and Me by Lenore Blegvad; Bill and Pete by Tommy de Paola; Chicken Sunday by Patrica Polacco; and Amos and Boris by William Steig. These books show quality writing using the theme of friendship.
2. Using the flip chart or overhead, generate a list of topics about friends that would be useful for writing. Ask students to share several ideas they have about their friends that would make an interesting writing piece.
3. Using the flip chart or overhead, model a graphic organizer to develop a topic into a narrative. This particular graphic organizer is used to develop a specific occurrence.
4. The Idea Web as a tool should be discussed, acquainting students with use of a graphic organizer. Using a blank Idea Web graphic organizer, instruct students to plan a piece of narrative writing. Select a topic generated from one of the touch stone texts focusing on friendship. Writing about a specific activity done with a friend is usually successful because students have considerable background knowledge on this topic. Using interactive writing, students suggest ideas to place on the Idea Web.
5. Using their writing journals or idea sheets, students write down several topics or memories they have about a good friend. As they do this, walk around, assess them, and confer. Encourage students to think of special times, not “everyday occurrences,” that would interesting readers.
6. Students share the topic they have chosen to write about with the friendship theme. Allow time to elaborate on the topic.
7. Review the Idea Web completed as a group, focusing on steps used to complete it. Pass out the Idea Web graphic organizer, asking students to begin putting their ideas on it. Monitor students closely, reminding them to refer back to the anchor Idea Web completed as a group.